There’s something about chargrilled meat that screams ‘holidays’, and the waft of Middle Eastern herbs and spices certainly evoke the exotic. You don’t need to travel far to enjoy such delights, as Bayroot restaurant has brought a taste of Lebanon to Elephant and Castle.
Once an internet café, megabytes have been replaced with mega bites (see what we did there?) and computer benches have made way for reclaimed wood and exposed brickwork.
Opening the restaurant in 2014, Yasser Elmoussa wanted to bring a taste of Lebanon to Walworth and share his love of cooking. The name Bayroot is both a nod to the country’s capital city as well as the ever-popular bay tree.
On the menu are favourites such as mezze platters, marinated grilled meats, wraps and salads. Everything is prepared daily using ingredients from New Covent Garden Market and herbs and spices imported from Lebanon. The chefs make their own marinades and sauces, and the flatbreads are brought in from a specialist Lebanese bakery in North London.
The house fries, sprinkled with Za’atar – a spice mix of wild thyme, sesame seed and sumac – are popular. If BBQ food rocks your world, you can build your own platter, and if you have a sweet tooth, there’s baklava to round off your meal.
Yasser says he takes great pride in serving quality food with Lebanese hospitality and, alongside wine and beer options, diners can bring their own alcohol for a corkage fee.
So when the craving for a shawarma hits, you can find Bayroot on Camberwell Road. It’s open seven days a week from noon until 11pm and also offers a takeaway service.