Restaurants, Middle Eastern South Kensington
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Venue says Lively Levantine mezze restaurant, gluten-free, healthy yet indulgent small plates. Offering express lunch platters and weekend brunch.

A colourful Levantine spot in South Ken.

Fresh and clean, fun and colourful, and undoubtedly Eastern Mediterranean – when it comes to this cute little Levantine diner nestled just off Old Brompton Road, those adjectives could either be describing the food, the decor or the staff. A bustling open kitchen is the first thing you see when you go in, but the eye quickly shifts to the brightly coloured walls, clashing with dizzily patterned furniture.

The clientele seems to be a mix of tourists and locals, but all are given the same merry reception, as if they’ve just come back for the third night running. Ceru promises the best of an area covering Turkey to Syria to Israel (and everything in between).

Of our dips and green bits, the crisp apple, mint and pomegranate salad outshone the pancar beetroot offering by a country mile, but there were plenty of other intriguing numbers that will guarantee our return. Shish taouk, chicken tikka by another name, was perfectly cooked and plenty for two. Persian kaftas (beef patties) came slighly dry but were lifted by a tarator (tahini and lemon) sauce. Elsewhere, the zucchini and feta fritters were too stodgy to finish but a failsafe go-to of halloumi with harissa and grilled peppers more than saved the day. If you somehow have shares in pomegranates, rejoice! They have a way of studding, sprinkling or topping most things with them, but not to the point of overdosing. And be warned, the thanks and goodbyes were even more enthusiastic than the welcome. But you can’t really have too much of a good thing like that.

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Ceru says
Our food harnesses an array of ingredients from the Levant region taking you on a flavour journey. Our all-day menu is entirely gluten free (as long as you avoid the Greek pita bread) including shakshuka and our version of kahvalti, express lunch platters and a newly launched pulled lamb burger!

We use the freshest produce to create tasty, vibrant and colourful dishes. We cater for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and omnivores with food that is healthy yet indulgent.

Ceru is moments away from South Kensington Tube with close proximity to the Royal Albert Hall, the museums and Knightsbridge.
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By: Dave Faulkner


Venue name: Ceru
Address: 7-9 Bute St
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12noon-11pm; Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-10pm
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
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2 of 2 found helpful

Not far from South Kensington tube station, Ceru is ideally placed for lunch or dinner when visiting the attractions in South Ken (V&A, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall etc). But the main reason to go is the food! 

I love mezze and sharing plates as I love variety and with their levantine (Mediterranean / Middle Eastern) inspired cuisine, this suits the sharing.

We still ordered way too much food as I wanted to try everything! They recommend sharing 3 to 4 dishes each. We had the courgette fritters with feta - very tasty, dips with their fresh bread, more than just the standard hummus available here. But the star of the show for me were the prawns and the lamb skewers - such great flavours!

If you can manage it, don't forget to try the desserts - the chocolate pistachio pot is served in the most beautiful container and has a fanastic layer of sour cherries at the bottom, that cut through the richness of the chocolate. 

If you are there for dinner, don't forget to sample the Levantine wine, they have a great selection from Greece, Turkey and Lebanon as well as some closer to home from France.

1 of 1 found helpful

I booked Christmas party with friends after visited their previous pop up on Rathbone place. We had very tasty sharing Mezze with amazing cocktails our favourite was Cucumber Martini and try Pale Ale beer. Place is truly amazing with wonderful atmosphere, we all enjoyed and will be back. Thank you, you have created great place.


Beautifully decorated from the wall lights to themed bathrooms. Coupled with the open plan layout, this restaurant comprising dishes from the Levant region, omits a sense of style and class equally matched by the high quality food and standard of service.

Our party shared a number of dishes including houmous and pitta triangles, cauliflower, pomegranate and walnut salad, Shish Taouk, roasted pumpkin, halloumi and red peppers and lamb shoulder.

A triumphant feast of spices, well cooked meat and impeccable presentation. It was a delight to explore each dish individually and made for a spectacular dinner plate.

Sadly too full to try a dessert on this occasion but I look forward to returning soon and definitely have the baklava in my sights.


CERU is a Levantine tapas-style restaurant in South Kensington. Opened in December 2016, it's new, bright, fresh and welcoming - it feels sort of like an upmarket, exotic Wahaca. There's comfy booth seating, plus more regular tables. Even the bathrooms were exciting, with Levantine decor, ornate fittings and the sounds of a marketplace providing background music. Our waitress was one of the friendliest and most attentive I've ever met; we received excellent service throughout. Between two people we ordered hummus, flat bread and crudités to start. This was satisfying, the flatbread was divine - soft and with just enough oil to make it delicious. We shared three main dishes between us: meat, fish and vegetarian. I didn't dislike anything, and it was all incredibly moreish. Highlights were the side of pumpkin with a delicious sesame brittle, and a wonderful beef patty with caramelised onion. Dessert was the only slight disappointment. We shared the baklava, which came deconstructed - ice cream with some caramelised nuts and and a honey sauce. It was tasty, but not as expected, and far too sweet. CERU isn't cheap (~£25 a head with soft drinks) but nor did it feel overpriced. It offers something different, and for the most part delivered a delicious and memorable meal. We'll be returning to sample afternoon tea!


My brother and I came here for our Easter Sunday lunch, as it's tradition to have some sort of lamb dish on this day and CERU had one that I was eager to try! We had a lovely waiter, who made sure we were well taken care of throughout our lunch and was nice to recommend dishes as well as dessert and drinks. 

The restaurant isn't very large but has a variety of tables available: high tables with bar stools, booth seating, and regular table and chairs. I liked this because this allows the restaurant to cater to different types of customers: those who want to enjoy a drink and some tapas, couples, and families.

Between the two of us, we went for the following dishes: 

  1. Fadi - This was a dip consisting of roasted courgette, yogurt, garlic, lemon and tahini. An order comes with a complimentary basket of pita bread, which pairs great with the dip. They're shaped in triangles so they scoop up the dip well and I liked that it was toasted so the top layer of the pita bread was crisp while the interior was chewy and fluffy. 
  2. Spice Battered Squid - This was essentially their version of calamari. They came served with a harissa yogurt sauce on the bottom, which I really liked. Along with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, the yogurt sauce helped to lighten up the dish, which can often be quite heavy with the batter. However, the ratio of batter to squid was pretty decent, so it didn't taste too doughy and the squid was cut thick enough to have a good bite. 
  3. Lamb Shoulder - This was absolutely divine! The meat simply falls apart when you pick it up, it's super tender and seasoned so well. The flavours blend together brilliantly with an acidic kick from the balsamic glaze, a sweet burst from the pomegranate seeds, good crunch from the crushed pistachios, and a fresh after-taste from the mint leaves sprinkled on top. My favourite dish we ordered, which I would highly recommend ordering when you come!
  4. Grilled Halloumi & Red Peppers - A classic combination with Middle Eastern food, this was done really well too. I liked that the grill marks were visible from the cooking method. The charred marks added a slight crunch to the halloumi and made the red peppers taste even better! This also came with a harissa dressing, which paired well with the flavours on the plate. 

As for drinks, we went for a glass of red wine (Buzbag Reserveand a glass of white wine (IXSIR). I much preferred the white wine because it was a Muscat so it had a sweet taste to it while the red wine was too sharp for my liking. Instead of going for dessert (as we were saving space for our chocolate Easter egg), we each went for a cup of Turkish tea. I had the Signature Turkish Apple Tea. This is normally made quite sweet, so I asked for a less sweet version, which our waiter was more than happy to accommodate. It turned out really nice, still a little too sweet for my liking, but had a great taste! It was garnished with two slices of red apple on top and wasn't made too thick/strong. It was easy to drink and a delightful way to end the meal!

Our visit to CERU was a highlight. Very rarely can you not find fault with something, but here for us it was a perfect meal. We had small mezze dishes to share between two of us and we order almost everything on the menu. Our favourites were lamb shoulder, merguez chicken, squid and grilled haloumi. Cocktails are great too and prices incredibly low!

We will be returning, such a brilliant place and beautifully design too.

Ignore the bang av' looking Italian joints vying for your attention, just 40 ft from off the Old Brompton road we found food, drinks and service which put a smile on our faces. It's a small but perfectly formed bright dining area with beautiful attention to detail and both times I have been I was met with and served by knowledgable and delightful staff. Don't discard your drink as not a massive part of your flavour experience, there are a great range of Lavantine wines (who knew) really well put together and fresh cocktails like Cucumber and Elderflower Martini but the stand out was the bright fresh beer brewed specifically for Ceru, light zingy and full of sunshine. The plates look small but do not be fooled, each dish is laden with fresh and complex spicing and rich textures, almost everything is accompanied by some sort of unctuous sauce, whether it is lime leaf scented Labneh, rose tinted Tzatziki or Pomegranate molasses, who doesn't LOVE sauce? There was not one thing that didn't leave me not feeling guilty about swiping the last morsel off the beautifully colourful plates.

Do not leave without trying as many things as you can fit inside you, this place has the charm of a local neighbourhood restaurant with the experience of being carted off to places you didn't know tasted so good all whilst enjoying attentive service. They have just launched an afternoon tea which I am going to be trying as soon as I can, bang goes beige, welcome colour and flavour!


Middle Eastern cuisine in London is finally getting its revamp thanks to the new restaurants popping up in every borough interpreting the cuisine in their own ways. Ceru in South Kensington is like that, too. We went to Ceru on a Saturday at brunch time and not too many people must know about it that we were the only people there. It's a shame because the place is such a cosy, warm room with a lovely decoration. Our servers were very attentive, running us through the menu and explaining the items. They did not have the shakshukas on the menu that day so we ordered the fried egg and merguez platter and the avocado salad with chickpeas. They were both very tasty and it was great to find some alternative breakfast dishes to the usual suspects like eggs benedict, or scrambled eggs.