Tiny West London restaurant with near perfect reviews that serves food you can’t get anywhere else

Whoever is familiar with Balkan food would know about Cevapi, a type of spicy beef sausage widely eaten in South-Eastern European countries, especially in Albania and the former Yugoslav republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia.

Anyone who has gone looking for authentic Balkan food in London would also know that it’s hard to come by.

A simple Google search for ‘Balkan restaurants in London’ would only provide one with a handful of options.

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Many of the restaurants that do appear do not actually specialise in Balkan cuisine, but only provide a few Balkan dishes among many others on their menu.

Or, one may find a few cafes that only focus on one particular type of Balkan food, such as special pastries known as bureks, usually eaten for breakfast.

Chicken & Cevapi
‘Eat Cevapi, be a hero’ written on the fridge door at Chicken & Cevapi
(Image: Ertan Karpazli (MyLondon))

What’s even harder to find is Cevapi, which is so important to Balkan cuisine that the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina considers it a national dish.

Owing to the fact that there is not a very large diaspora from the former Yugoslav republics living in London, Balkan cuisine has not made the same impact in the UK that it has made in other parts of Europe, such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Sweden.

After searching far and wide, however, one particular restaurant stands out among a small circle of competitors in London – the Chicken & Cevapi in Ealing, West London.

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Rated 4.7/5 stars on Google, and 5 stars on TripAdvisor, this HMC-certified restaurant near South Ealing Underground Station is worth a try.

First impressions of the restaurant can be a little underwhelming, as the shop floor is only large enough to fit three tables, with two small tables placed outside.

It is clear that the restaurant specialises in takeaways and deliveries, but the restaurant’s friendly staff will go above and beyond to make customers who wish to dine-in feel welcome and at home.

One look at the menu will be enough to tell the restaurant specialises in one thing and one thing only – the Cevapi. It even has its own entire section with multiple choices on how it is served.

While there is such a wide range to choose from, it is recommended that when going to Chicken & Cevapi for the first time, one starts off with ordering the Famous Chicken and Cevapi dish.

Chicken & Cevapi is perhaps the only place in London to get HMC-certified Cevapi
(Image: Ertan Karpazli (MyLondon))

The meal is just that, chopped pieces of marinated grilled chicken breast with four bits of Cevapi inside some special Balkan Lepina flatbread, served with fries and salad.

The dish comes with a side of garlic sauce and ajvar, which is a traditional Balkan dip made from sweet bell peppers and eggplants.

All this comes for the price of £9.95.

For an additional £5, one could get a bottle of what Chicken & Cevapi call their secret ‘Sexy Sauce’.

It is a cool, sweet sauce made exclusively in their restaurant, containing mayonnaise, dill and a range of other herbs.

If unsure about paying that much for a sauce you’ve never heard of, one could always ask for a free sample, but many customers who have reviewed the restaurant have highly recommended it.

In the spirit of keeping the dining experience at Chicken & Cevapi authentically Balkan, one should also try Cockta Original as a beverage.

Cockta Original was Yugoslavia’s answer to Coca Cola
(Image: Ertan Karpazli (MyLondon))

The drink is non-alcoholic and caffeine-free. Its main ingredient comes from dog rosehip and is a mixture of 11 different herbs, lemon and orange.

It was originally produced in Slovenia in the 1950s, and was a Yugoslavian alternative to Coca-Cola, which was not available in Yugoslavia at the time.

Of course, there are other options on the menu, including bureks, burgers and chicken shish. There are also vegetarian and vegan options such as halloumi wraps and falafel.

Typically, for a budget of around £12, one could eat well at Chicken & Cevapi.

Despite being shown on Google to open at 12 noon, the restaurant tends to open around 4pm and remains open till around midnight or 1am.

Unfortunately, there is only one Chicken & Cevapi restaurant in London, so Londoners who don’t live around Ealing have quite a trek to make to get there, but if the 5-star reviews on Google and TripAdvisor are anything to go by, the journey is totally worth it.

My London – Local News