Beirut is one of our favourite cities in the world – and a big part of that is down to the incredible food. Now, one of the city’s hottest restaurants, Em Sherif, has arrived in London taking over a corner spot in Harrods. Em Sherif was founded by Mireille Hayek in Beirut in 2011 and has since expanded across the region, into Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait to name a few – the Harrods location is the first in Europe.
While most of the food in the famous department store is in the food hall Em Sherif is actually tucked away among the menswear on the second floor, so it takes some finding! It was super busy on the Sunday afternoon we visited, with a nice buzzy atmosphere of groups and families. It’s a fairly small space with low ceilings but they’ve brightened it up with lots of mirrors and bright blue and white tiles which helps add some character.
We settled in with a Beirut beer and a minted lemonade while we took a look at the menu, which reads like a catalogue of classic Lebanese dishes with a few modern, attention-grabbing twists. Take, for example, the hummus topped with grilled wagyu beef which was the first of our dishes to arrive. The beef was obviously pretty excellent but the hummus itself was still the star of the show – smooth and light as air. If you don’t want to spend £40 on the wagyu version, you’ll be glad to know that you can just get a regular hummus for £12 and it’ll be no doubt one of the best you’ve ever had. Another must-order is the manoushe bread with zaatar. These are ubiquitous in Beirut, especially at breakfast, so we were very happy to be eating these warm flatbreads topped with olive oil and a thick crust of zaatar once again.
Salads are one of our favourite parts of Lebanese cuisine so we when in deep here, getting the fattoush (chopped lettuce, tomato, radish, crispy pitta and pomegranate molasses), the tabouleh (parsley, tomato, spring onion, lemon and olive oil), and a tomato salad spiced up with shanklish nigella seed, sumac, mint, wild oregano and zaatar oil. You can’t move for shawarma in Beirut so it felt right to get a lamb shawarma here for the main – you can choose to have a wrap but we went for the bowl where you can kind of DIY it with plenty of flat breads, sauces and pickles to go with the grilled lamb.
If you need a bit of a pit stop on your next Harrods shopping trip, then Em Sherif could be the perfect choice.
Harrods, 87–135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL