Berber & Q, Haggerston

Regular Readers (*Hi! Sorry I’ve been neglecting you recently!  Will totes be making it up to you babes!*) would be forgiven for thinking that I can’t have brunch without drinking half a gallon of fizzybubbles. I’d like to take this time to reassure you that this is ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE and I’m about to prove it you.

A lovely walk down the canal in the Autumn sunshine (this post has been a long time coming, I confess) and we arrived at Berber & Q in Haggerston. A couple of metres away from Trip Kitchen, it’s also under the arches of the overground line also very, very cool.

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^ I heart the lampshades HARD

Berber & Q (I abbreviated this to B&Q but then no) is a Middle Eastern grill, and we went there because we fancied something a bit different…

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^ Looks exciting, no? Not lamb offal though. Not that different.

To begin with we ordered Turkish coffee, which was a bit like being punched in the face by caffiene. I’m not saying don’t order it – if you’re a fan of coffee, you’ll love it – but it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted, elderly or infirm. It comes thick, black and intimidating, but you can ask for milk and sugar if you don’t mind the waiters judging you a little bit.

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Don’t drink the sludge in the bottom. It’s like chewing insomnia.

We shared the green shakshuka (with sucuk sausages), Turkish eggs and the full Israeli and it was a FEAST! The green shakshuka was my favourite; made with green peppers (usually my nemesis), spinch and kale (healthy, it was HEALTHY brunch), it was somehow creamy and fresh at the same time, with runny eggs hiding in the goodness, coriander because always coriander and splodges of chilli ketchup adding a bit of a kick. We ordered it with the home made sucuk sausage which was absolutely amazing. No idea what was in it (if I had to guess I’d say lamb), but it was spiced and tasty and just delicious.  We mopped up the sauce with gorgeous, charred, fresh baked pitta which was approximately 100% better than any pitta I’ve ever had before.  We had to order seconds, it was so tasty.

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^ Going to be honest, I don’t know what the salad was doing there

The Turkish eggs (in the stainless steel dish, top right) were also really tasty. Kind of like eggs benedict, but at the same time not at all.  It was really creamy with the yogurt and the paprika butter added a smoky depth. It was a score draw between this and the shashuka as to which was the favourite dish.

The full Israeli was also delicious, but kind of disjointed.  I’ve no idea if this is a typical breakfast in Israel, but if it is I can only conclude that it was originally put together by somebody with a hangover, no clear idea of what they wanted to eat but a full fridge.

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I mean; avo, yes, feta, yes, egg, yes, humous, best I’ve ever had, pitta GET IN MY FACE, charred peppers, yes, olives, yes (although, for breakfast?  See what I mean about the hangover?  I get it though, sometimes you just need salt), beetroot salad, yes (although again, for breakfast??), spicy tomato and cucumber salad, yes, tahini and harissa, bit superfluous, but on balance yes.  All of these things are delicious if you dip in and out and with that pitta.  Bit like breakfast mezze really, which is probably exactly what it’s supposed to be, in fairness.

I have to confess that the star of the full Israeli for me was the yogurt with date syrup…

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Rich, creamy yogurt, sweet and sticky syrup dotted with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds for a bit of crunch, texture and oomph.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it was one of those things which really was more than the sum of its parts and it rounded off our brunch perfectly.

See??  Not a bottle of prosecco in sight!!

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