The Fresser

London's Israeli food scene is growing this summer

If you like a Middle Eastern menu there's plenty to get excited about this month



After a quiet couple of years, the Fresser Oyster card is taking a bashing. With a lot more tapping to come.

Today I’ve come to an area with very Jewish roots — Commercial Street in London’s East End — for a catch up with two of my favourite foodie people, Helen Graham and Marc Summers.

The friends (both talented chefs) opened their tiny Middle Eastern-influenced, vegetarian restaurant Bubala pre-pandemic here. Marc looks after front of house while Helen mans the stoves.

Their nosh is knock-out. I still drool at the memory of a meal I ate there back in 2019. I wasn’t the only one to fall in love with their flavours. There was critical acclaim across the board. No frills and finery, just deliciously interesting dishes.

Having worked hard to bring up their first Bubala — and grown their family of staff — the pair have taken the decision to expand the family. The second restaurant will be in Soho and is due to open next month. They've told me all about it — watch out for the skinny on that soon — in JC newspaper and here on our website.

Another pair with a new baby — of the culinary kind — are Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. The husband and wife chefs had to say bye-bye to their firstborn — Honey & Co (on Warren Street) when their lease was terminated earlier this year. Fortunately for us, with what feels like barely a break in meal service, they’ve already opened their kitchen at Honey & Co Bloomsbury. The sexy new site is on the corner of Lambs Conduit Street — a gorgeous Dickensian-looking street between Holborn and Gray’s Inn Road and only a short trot from the JC’s offices. It’s only a short stroll from another Fresser favourite — La Fromagerie — and over the road from an old favourite wine bar — Noble Rot, that I used to drink in back in my legal eagle days.

It’s also close enough to the Curzon cinema to make it a no-brainer for pre-screen eating, and if that wasn’t reason enough to pop in, they’ve launched a Bloomsbury bun to celebrate. Served with their breakfast menu, it’s flavoured with orange blossom and almond. Bang goes my bikini regime.

My final exciting news (already mentioned in a recent interview) is the imminent arrival of Israeli uber chef Eyal Shani with not one but TWO London restaurants. What took you so long ES? The founding father of the modern Israeli menu has been seen around town cooking kosher banquets and fressing Tony Page’s finest food at a reception given by the Israeli Ambassador for Independence Day.

He’ll be launching with a branch of the pita-based concept, Miznon AND his upmarket concept that always takes inspo from local foods — HaSalon. More to follow on those. I’ll be first in the queue.

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