I had seen a lot of talk banded around on social media about this place called Suri. I knew it was a restaurant, I knew it was on King Street… but that was pretty much all I knew. If I were to hazard a guess, I thought it could be some kind of sushi bar and I assumed it would comprise of an over the top setting and priced quite high.
Well I was totally wrong, first of all there is no sushi here (Lord knows where I made that assumption from?!?). The cuisine served is actually a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, though unfortunately not halal. The name Suri is actually the Persian word for rose.
The restaurant from the outside it’s quite a modest looking outfit. Inside, ooh the interiors are delightful. They’ve not gone for traditional or contemporary and boring plain. Instead, using a palette of creams, they’ve created an elegant dining space, with touches of marble, bare bulbs and plush leathers.
We were here to sample the new seasonal express menu, a reasonably priced meal at £15 per person for three dishes from the menu. Although the meat wasn’t halal, there was still plenty for us to choose from. Of course, a new place means trying new things, so we ordered a selection from across the menu and asked for them in stages – all of the below, apart from the dessert were from the express menu.
Actually, before we got cracking on exploring the menu, we grazed on some Persian spiced bread, made fresh on site. I can’t fault the bread in any way but what I can say is that the dip it came with, a sort of red pepper and chickpea smash was like no dip we’ve had before. It was so good we actually asked for another bowl to enjoy with the rest of the meal. Beth, our waitress, pointed out that all the dips were made fresh and vary from time to time, and they were firm favourites amongst staff too. Always a good sign.
Chickpea kibbeh with spiced yoghurt, Roasted cauliflower with tahini and ajvar and the Suri summer salad.
Chickpeas in kibbeh? delightful. I normally find kibbeh has quite a coarse texture but chickpea and root vegetable combination was much smoother in texture and the spiced yoghurt, was tangy and moreish.
Cauliflower really isn’t my favourite vegetable, I usually only like it in a curry. The dish here surprised me though, spiced and baked there was a punch of flavour in every floret. The Suri summer salad, in all honesty didn’t look like much, but don’t be fooled. Salad may be all about leaves, but the dressing on this is divine.
To fill up:
Hanout prawns with smashed avocado, Josper’d aubergine with citrus yoghurt, herby spuds and za’tar fries.
The hanout prawns were good, I’d get them again – although I would say they weren’t a real stand out dish. I’m glad we ordered them, they hit the spot perfectly. Though I can’t think of a taste or flavour that stands out. All I can say is that prawns and crushed avocado are a match made in heaven.
Now the aubergine, was very pleasing on my palate. Fresh pomegranate topping and laced with za’tar and sumac, my favourite flavour combinations all in one dish. Za’tar is such an underrated spice here, I doubt many people use it, but growing up in Saudi, it was a one we ate regularly. It’s so nice to see so many dishes utilising it here at Suri, even the za’tar fries worked well, the chili giving it a slight kick should you choose to eat it.
To finish off:
We chose three to try: Suri strawberries; preserved lemon curd with red berry rocks and the cardamom vanilla cream.
We chose dessert options from the ‘enjoy’ part of the menu, and enjoy we did. Lemon curd mousse was sharp but not too sour, the panna cotta was perfectly set and the gingernuts made for a perfect accompaniment. Keeping it separate was nice as we could add a little bit to every bite (probably not the idea but it worked well for us).
I have to say though Beth’s recommendation of Suri strawberries was the winner. Fresh and delightful, it was, as the saying goes, like summer in a bowl. I can imagine popping in on a warm day, sitting outside on one of their lovely café tables, indulging in a Margarita glass of Suri strawberries.
Gosh what a fantastic surprise Suri was. For a luxurious, reasonably priced meal out this is definitely hitting the top of my list. I was really happy to experience a meal that was spicy and rich in flavour, without being overpowered by chilli. It was really refreshing, and to enjoy such a meal in such comfortable surroundings made for a great meal out.
Oh and I really should point out the service here was just as exceptional. Beth was a great host for the evening. It was a nice change to be at a King Street restaurant and have a waitress who came across as quite personable. Her recommendations were spot on, and gauging from our reactions to certain dishes, gave us a bit of background on how they’re made or where the inspiration of them came from.
Poor Mo was not impressed he couldn’t join us, so I look forward to visiting again and experimenting with some more of their menu. The main menu has aptly named sections such as fields, farm, waves… unusual but to the point. (I’ve got my eye on the Josper honey’d salmon with avocado).
Just like its Persian floral namesake Suri has all the right elements; hint of sharp flavours, plenty of variety and both the food and venue are beautiful to look at.
*** Thank you to Suri for inviting us to sample the menu and thank you to Beth for recommending all the right things. Of course all opinions and thoughts on this review are my honest opinion and have not been influenced in any way ***