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Kurdish restaurant Nandine donates 10% of sales from special dishes to woman’s charity

Food that ‘nourishes the soul’ – Jay Rayner

Founded by Pary Baban in 2016, Nandine has become a mecca for those looking for authentic, Kurdish food in London. Nandine meaning ‘Kitchen’ in old Kurdish.

The restaurant is situated in the heart of Camberwell where Pary first arrived in the UK from Kurdistan in 1995 after being displaced from her home under the rule of Saddam Hussein.

Nandine’s menus have been inspired by Pary’s travels around Kurdistan. Throughout her late teens, she spent several years displaced, living from relative to relative. During this time she began documenting all the recipes and regional dishes she tried in a diary. Her compilation of regional Kurdish recipes are the inspiration behind the menus found at Nandine today.

Pary first began properly selling her Kurdish food in Elephant and Castle in 2007, where she and her husband Pola Baban set up a sandwich bar next door to their newsagents.

Dining is based largely on sharing plates and dishes include an array of incredible vegetarian small plates that perfectly balance the rich Kurdish flavours and the fresh herbs which are always integral to each dish.

Highlights include Kurdish smoked aubergine – covered in Nandine’s homemade aubergine rub and slow cooked with chickpeas, garlic and olive oil. Dandok aged cracked wheatin sundried yoghurt topped with baked garlic tomatos and Nandine’s much-loved loaded Beharat fries that are rolled in Zataar and topped with pomegranate sauce, pink yoghurt, mint, pomegranate, and sesame.

Vegetarian signatures include Kurdish dumplings in a tomato and spinach broth topped with homemade garlic sauce and sesame and an authentic Danqut spinach & cauliflower (chickpea & barley, topped with spinach, black eye beans, crispy fried cauliflower, dill and lime).  

Meats are smothered in Nandine spice mixes and cooked on the open charcoal grill to give them a distinctive Middle-Eastern flavour.

Highlights include mutton with smoked rice, handmade spiced sausages, the Lula Kebab (ground lamb flank and shoulder kebabs, served with Zataar flatbread) and Nandine’s signature 7-Spice Chicken Shish which is coated in Nandine’s secret seven spice blend and served with Zataar flatbread and labneh amba dip.

For those fancying a sweet treat after their meal, the dessert menu comprises homemade specialty baklava and a trio of Halva, a favourite candy dessert in the Middle East. Belatchuk is also a firm favourite made up of candied butternut squash and a tahini ice cream.

And to wash all these delicious dishes down, Nandine has an array of Kurdish inspired cocktails. The menu comprises Sumac and Pomegranate G&Ts and Kurdish negronis, or if you fancy something a bit fruitier, the Sharezoor Milk Punch is made from wildflower tea, clarified milk and Havana Club Rum. Nandine also supplies local craft beers and a wine list that pairs perfectly with the Kurdish cuisine and some delicious non-alcoholic drinks as well.

At the weekend, Nandine serves up a traditional Kurdish breakfast with an assortment of cheeses, yoghurt, shepherd’s salad and fresh honeycomb. Also on the menu is a Basirlmay Baynjan which is slow cooked aubergine and pepper in a rich tomato sauce topped with garlic yoghurt.

Nandine is loved by locals and quietly becoming a destination for those seeking unbeatable Kurdish food in London.

Nandine – the Kurdish restaurant in Camberwell – is celebrating International Women’s Day by putting two special dishes on the menu, and will be donating 10% of sales from these dishes throughout March to IKWRO Women’s Rights Organisation.

IKWRO is a registered charity which provides advice and support to Middle Eastern, North African and Afghan women and girls living in the UK, who have experienced, or are at risk of, all forms of “honour” based abuse, including forced marriage, child marriage, female genital mutilation and domestic violence.

Pary wants to support IKWRO for International Women’s Day to support women from around the world living in the UK.

The two special dishes are Qabuli Rash, a smoked basmati rice with chunks of mutton and fried leek, and Kurdish Picked Veg, comprising salted qazwan pods, ajami garlic, cauliflower, carrot, sweetheart cabbage and red wine vinegar.

Address: 45 Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8TR

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday: 5pm – 11pm

Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 11pm

Address: 82 Vestry road, London, SE5 8PQ

Opening hours:
Wed/Thursday/Sunday: 10:30am-4:30pm
Friday – Saturday: 10:30am-10pm


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