Restaurant Review: Bedouin

Image credit: Gigi Perry

I once read an article which claimed: Cambridge is where "gastronomy comes to die", citing the regrettable accolade of having the highest concentration of chain restaurants of any town in the UK. Point taken, yet the riposte is simple. Mill Road.

By the time we reach a restaurant on Mill Road we’ve normally stopped several times. Whether it be in a shop selling delicate spices or one with a vivid array of cheap fruit and veg out front, there is a colour and social texture which the town centre somewhat lacks. And Bedouin is a restaurant which encapsulates such charm in a single room.

Entering Bedouin is to be sensually arrested. The low light gently enriches colourful pillows and rugs which adorn the walls and deep oak tables. You feel immediately drawn in to the ordered chaos – I could go on and on... Let’s just say that our very patient waiter kindly told us where we could buy pretty much their entire collection of decor.

Food-wise, the starters nicely encapsulate the Algerian cuisine which balances North African and Mediterranean influences. Brik pastry rolls with spinach, goat’s cheese and nutmeg, a classic hummus with olive oil, and Crevettes were our choices. The Crevettes in particular stood out, marinated in tomato sauce with garlic, cumin and coriander of which not a drop wasn’t mopped up with bread. These were simple enough flavours, but exceptionally balanced.

The mains followed this trend, an impossibly tender Lamb Tadjine and pan-fried Salmon (admittedly, I ordered Tuna...) with immaculately seasoned vegetables. We’ve eaten in many similar restaurants, but the quality of ingredient, preparation, and overall harmony of flavour at Bedouin is unparalleled.

This is not a cheap student eatery (roughly £20pp), although simply stopping in for a main would be adequate. However, we encourage you to treat Bedouin as something more indulgent, perhaps for a special occasion. Take in its glowing vibe, and show Mill Road some appreciation.

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