We get behind the scenes with Hanan Kattan, founder of new opening Tabun Kitchen, serving up Jerusalem street food inspired dishes…
Describe Tabun Kitchen in 3 words…
Welcoming, delicious, authentic.
From film to food. Tell us a bit about your background…
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I moved into film production purely to produce the films written and directed by my wife Shamim Sarif and we’ve made four features to date. I love producing films. Our latest film, Despite the Falling Snow, stars Charles Dance and Rebecca Ferguson opened earlier this year in cinemas. While I was waiting for Shamim to finish her last script, I worked on the plan for Tabun Kitchen. When I found a site in Soho, I jumped on it. We love Soho and have worked a lot here on our films, so it feels like a second home.
What made you decide to open Tabun Kitchen?
Food is a passion for me, and I want Tabun Kitchen to be a warm, welcoming place where people can enjoy delicious, home-cooked food in a relaxing atmosphere. We love entertaining at home and I hope Tabun Kitchen can become almost an extension of that.
Where does the food take inspiration from?
The Palestinian-inspired food is filled with the authentic tastes and flavours that I grew up with and many of the recipes come from my mother and grandmother.
The Palestinian-inspired food is filled with the authentic tastes and flavours that I grew up with and many of the recipes come from my mother and grandmother. Freshness is key. We eat a lot of this food at home and over the years, have evolved it to become a little more healthy – using olive oil sparingly, and focusing on lean white chicken, sea bass, fresh salads and mezze that are flavoured with lemon juice, garlic and herbs.
What type of dishes will be served throughout the day?
Breakfast has a variety of dishes to choose from including Shakshuka, Za’atar Manaeesh and many other freshly cooked Palestinian options. Our concept is a sharing concept. Lunch will be freshly baked Tabun bread wraps, mezze and soup. Dinner is a sharing concept – guests will be able to choose from a range of mezzes (the hummus and warm kale salad are my favourites!) and also share more substantial Palestinian home-style dishes like a ‘samke harra’ (spicy sea bass) and ‘musakhan’ (chicken with caramelised onions and pine nuts) and also some delicious grilled meat, fish and prawns.
What type of foods define “Jerusalem Street food”?
Jerusalem is such a vibrant melting pot of cultures and traditions that I think there’s always something exciting and new to discover.
Your favourite food local loves in London?
Nobu for Japanese – always exquisite. Royal China for fresh and delicious dim sum, and many, many more.
Tabun Kitchen | 77 Berwick St, London W1F 8TH