Del’Aziz, Bermondsey, London – Review

Jonathan R Jones

Jonathan R Jones is a freelance writer on art, interiors and lifestyle based in London and Berkshire. As well as covering food and travel for VADA, he writes for publications including Art Review, Modern Painters and Sculpture Magazine and is Contributing Editor at COVER Magazine. Find him blogging at jonathanrjones.wordpress.com.

Del’Aziz is a restaurant, deli and bar with Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern leanings, based in London’s bustling Bermondsey.

Food and drink

We started with two pretty far-out drinks from the crazy signature cocktail list. How could we resist ‘Ice Age’, described as ‘served half-avalanched with Blue Curaçao’? It’s a frozen-style cocktail of spiced rum and lime with a yoghurt liqueur, served in a margarita glass garnished with orange and starfruit.

The Bad Guy was a delicious fruity blend of spiced rum, Chambord, Amaro Montenegro, and crushed berries; a shot of fresh lemon perfectly offset the sweetness.

If these sound too out there, rest assured that all your favourites are there too…but when reviewing I feel compelled to try the unusual or intriguing for you, dear reader.

The Mezze Sharing Platter wasn’t great value for £18, but was nevertheless a delicious starter for two. Highlights included a chunky hummus, flaky lamb-filled borek, and some punchy merguez sausages. The winner was a really fresh and zingy tabbouleh with a salty tang, not too much bulgur wheat and finished with pomegranate seeds.

For mains we opted for lobster and a lamb tagine. The lobster was on the small side, but comes with a decent portion of fries. It can be served cold or warm on request and is dressed with rosemary and red peppercorns, and a deliciously unexpected fennel seed mayonnaise.

The lamb tagine was – although not very pretty – delicious. You can’t help but wonder why the kitchen doesn’t focus their attention more fully on this kind of cuisine. The mildly-spiced meat melted off the shank and the couscous was studded with prunes – real comfort food.

There are plenty of other food options including steaks (£23 to £28) and burgers (£11 to £12). The only diners not well catered for are vegetarians, who would have to make do with one of only two vegetarian options amongst a choice of over twenty mains.

Despite a generous dessert menu, we couldn’t resist trying the mouth-watering homemade cakes instead. The rib-sticking Oreo cheesecake will keep kids-at-heart happy but the more sophisticated Lemon Polenta cake was the star. I’d go back just for another slice of that.

We shared a bottle of ‘Monte Santu’ from the extensive wine list – a full-bodied Southern Italian red from the Poderosa winery – and I enjoyed a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with the lobster.

Look and vibe

The interior makes the best of what would otherwise be a soulless corporate interior (it’s on the ground floor of a recent residential development). In the deli, the large plate-glass windows are softened by distressed wooden tables and low lighting and there’s a tempting display of sweet and savoury treats.

In the restaurant, pillars of light compliment bright feature walls in purple, turquoise and red with oversized repeat mandalas (it shouldn’t work but it does). Mismatching vintage chandeliers provide an intimate glow. A mirror-ceilinged raised area at the back is enclosed by fret-work screens and lit with neon to create a funky snug perfect for cocktails and lounging.

The eclectic music won’t be to everyone’s taste. It ranged from Latin to reggae and back and – towards the end of the evening – some truly bizarre covers. A lounge version of Britney’s ‘Toxic’ had us sniggering into our desserts, but the twee acoustic take on ‘Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)’ was enough to put you off your pud.

Price

Around £50 per person, based on three courses, a bottle of wine and two cocktails, plus service.

The bottom line

It might look like a deli or lunch spot but it’s worth considering this Bermondsey local for cocktails or an evening meal. I’d go back to explore the mezzes and small plates – and another slice of that lemon polenta cake!

For more information, visit delaziz.co.uk/bermondsey.

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