A Taste of Lebanon comes to St John’s Wood

Magnificently majestic. Invitingly opulent. Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood is reborn. Owners, Maroush Group, has gone back to its roots to what it does best – championing Lebanese food and Middle Eastern hospitality, all against a jaw-dropping Grade II-listed, former Victorian gin palace backdrop.

The Menu

The restaurant menu embodies the ethos of sharing with an array of mouthwatering cold and hot mezze. A dedicated hummus menu sees bowls of the silky homemade favourite topped with roasted thin slices of marinated chicken or lamb shawarma, or with pan fried king prawns, pine nuts and chilli. Other must-tries include pumpkin kibbeh, deep fried croquettes of pumpkin and bulgar wheat with a delicately spiced filling; maqaneq, mini lamb sausages pan fried with fresh lemon, butter and pomegranate molasses; and bastorma carpaccio, thin sliced smoked fillet marinated in Middle Eastern spices.

No visit to Crocker’s Folly would be complete without experiencing dishes cooked on the josper grill, including succulent kastaleta lamb and veal cutlets, along with a whole charcoaled baby chicken served with a kick of fresh garlic sauce. Signature fish plates are an exercise in contrasts with subtle scents and complex spices, try sayadieh cod in a spiced tahini sauce with caramelised onions and giant grilled king prawns served with a vibrant spicy sauce and rice.

Artisan breads and pastries come from Crocker’s Folly’s in-house bakery – topped, filled and finished with delicious cheeses and meats, studded with spices – from baked arayes with seasoned minced lamb, to fatayer with a filling of spinach, onion, lemon and sumac.

Fresh fruit platters and an abundance of gloriously sticky pastries and puddings complete the meal. End on a real sweet note with ossmalieh – a golden crispy vermicelli pancake filled with ashta cream, topped with crushed pistachios and drizzled with fragrant rosewater syrup – or opt for a selection of homemade baklawa, best taken with a strong, short coffee or fresh mint tea.

The menu is complemented by an exciting wine list that explores the relatively overlooked vineyards of Lebanon and North Africa as well as offering bins from around the world, from delicate, floral whites to spicy and full-flavoured reds.

A Bar Fit for a Sultan

The bar is a far cry from the venue’s traditional British boozer roots having been given a new lease of life whilst retaining much of its Victorian design aesthetic. The cocktail menu serves up all the classics, but focusses on mapping the flavours of the Arabian Peninsula. Signatures include the Cynarb Spritz combining artichoke liqueur, soda and rosé Champagne and the Julep Baklava with White & Mackay whisky, pistachio mix, brown sugar and soda.

Enjoy with full-of-flavour bar bites such as spicy Lebanese sausages, prawn skewers, chicken wings, calamari or baba ghanouj.

Design

Elegant and steeped in history, this venue is guaranteed to astonish even the most hardened restaurant diners. Restored to preserve much of its original opulence, Crocker’s Folly is split into four areas that conjure up images of long forgotten Victorian society parties.

The 1898 bar, with its restored wood-panelled walls and gilded ceilings, is flooded with natural light creating an inviting room and the perfect backdrop against which to enjoy after-work drinks. The adjoining Marble Room, featuring 50 kinds of ornate stone, shares the jaw-dropping marble and mahogany, Romanesque columns and a grand open fireplace. The Lord’s Dining Room, named after its Lord’s Cricket Ground neighbour, is an intimate yet spacious dining room, boasting impressive crystal chandeliers and original Victorian bay windows, making it a great location for a private event or party. When the British weather is kind, head to the terrace for lunch, post-work drinks or dinner amongst an oasis of colourful flowers and olive trees illuminated by fairy lights.

Enjoy the renaissance of one of the capital’s most striking examples of Victorian design and, whether popping in for a pint and a light bite or a sharing feast, enjoy relaxed Lebanese dining in a truly remarkable venue.

Crocker’s Folly
24 Aberdeen Place, St Johns Wood NW8 8JR
020 7289 9898

www.crockersfolly.com

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