Khalid Dahbi brings modern Moorish Cuisine to the West End

Celebrated Moroccan chef to open first UK restaurant

Chef Khalid Danhi will bring his modern take on Moorish cuisine to the UK this summer, with his first, permanent London restaurant, Beso.

Beso, which opens on Shaftesbury Avenue in late June, draws influence from Marrakech, Spain and Turkey to create a unique, Moorish-Mediterranean concept using locally-sourced ingredients.

The restaurant will be centred around the ‘Majorell table’ and ‘Firebar’, allowing guests to experience the colours, flavours and theatre of the kitchen as they eat, while the basement will be transformed into a cosy cocktail bar and wine cellar.

Beso’s menu features sharing plates including Plancha Cornish Squid, Duck B’Stilla and Smoked Mackerel Pate, as well as freshly baked breads with bakoula, marinated carrots, smoked aubergine and lots of healthy, vegetarian, aromatic tapas dishes from Garden of Eden.

Cumin-dusted beef burgers arrive garnished with mechwiya and pickles, with creme fraiche and spiced onion rings, while Hampshire quail is accompanied by charred cauliflower, sumac and pomegranates on a menu where every ingredient hints at the chef’s Moroccan roots.

Khalid Dahbi says: “I’ve travelled and cooked all around the world, but Moorish food has always been closest to my heart. The spices, the delicate way in which we bring out the true flavours of vegetables, the way in which food is central to our social gatherings.

We’re bringing all of that to Beso, but with a twist that also acknowledges my travels and the skills I’ve learned along the way.

So there will be touches of Mediterranean cooking; flashes of Spanish and Turkish flavours; and of course local ingredients to honour the place that I now call home: London.

Beso will be a restaurant where people can drop in for breakfast and a herbal tea, or stop by for a relaxed lunch and bring a group of friends for a feast in the evenings. We want our guests to enjoy our food in a friendly, relaxed and welcoming environment where the Yves Saint Laurent inspired Majorell Garden decor and our firebar will transport you into the world of Beso.”

Chef Khalid has over twenty years of culinary experience, having trained and worked in top international restaurants and Michelin-starred establishments. He has cooked for Royalty, politicians and Hollywood stars during his glittering career.

Born into a family of foodies in Rabat, Morocco where tasty local dishes were always the centrepiece at home and social gatherings, he headed to Paris, where he worked at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Meurice and L’Arpège. He then worked in Venice before London called, with a job at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s.

He has since worked at Bibendum, thirteen of the Gaucho group restaurants, Jamie Oliver’s and Old Vic Restaurant, before launching Brasserie Le Bec in the heart of the Swiss Alps – a restaurant voted the best in Verbier.

Chef Khalid is now the resident chef director at luxury members’ service Quintessentially Group and owner of KD Luxury, which sources the finest caviars, truffles and smoked salmon from around the world.

BESO sees Khalid partner with Turkish entrepreneur, Eyup Saglik, who has years of experience in the digital media, marketing and partnered business ventures into the culinary world.

BESO will open late-June at 190 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JL