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|Address:||10 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YP|
|Tel:||020 3589 2126|
|Price: £48.00||Wine: £21.95||Champagne: £40.95|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-10.30pm (Sat 5pm- )|
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Tall, exotic lamps stand like guards outside the heavy fortress-style wooden door. The interior reminds me of a cave, albeit a stylish cave with a descending staircase lit with warm candlelight.
We begin the classic aubergine and tahini dip of Baba Ghannouj, which has a subtle smoky depth and a spike of lemon that balances the richness. ‘Makale Samak’ is next on our hit list, spicy sautéed squid served with a very moreish coconut and chill sauce followed by spicy ‘Soujoc’ lamb sausages, which are a Lebanese specialty. I like food that packs a punch flavour and Middle Eastern food rarely disappoints.
The main course arrives and I try to tell myself that I’m not yet full, when secretly I am stuffed. But I have never let a silly thing like ‘appetite’ get in the way of a full-on feast and I’m certainly not about to start now. We opt for a modern Moroccan-inspired dish of pan-fried salmon fillet with a pomegranate glaze and a salad of cucumber and courgette, as well as the classic ‘Meshawy’ mixed grill platter of chunks of tender marinated chicken and lamb and a wonderfully spicy minced lamb kebab with a trace of cinnamon and a slight chilli kick, served with basmati rice, strewn with vermicelli strands. Simply delightful, but really doing nothing to ease my expanding waistband. But that’s what I like about Middle-Eastern food, you can eat and eat (and eat) until you can’t breathe any longer and then you follow it all with a mint tea chaser and suddenly you find room for dessert. What kind of bizarre trickery is this? I shall never understand.
Kenza offers something that little bit different, which is just you need sometimes. The restaurant itself has an air of Souk-like fantasy which makes it a great place to escape the world, knock back a few Mezza washed down with some cocktails. I can see why it appeals to the City crowd so much, with very few exciting restaurants in area, Kenza stands out and perhaps deservedly so. The interior design alone is well worth a visit. Well… it’s cheaper than a flight to Morocco, surely?