This new Mayfair moneyed must-be-seen-in location is somewhere special for the rest of us too. At a price.

I’m not rich, I know people who are though, ex-colleagues who made better choices and ended up swimming in cash, but not me. I still look carefully at price tickets and get cold sweats when opening my bank statements.

So it’s not often I dine in Mayfair, it’s not often I am even seen there, but here I am pre Xmas picking my way around supercars to get to Jeru, a brand new high end Middle Eastern restaurant that arrived in the UK around the same time that Omicron did.

Not that the rich seem to care about Covid. Contrasted with South London, where people seem to relish being masked, here in Mayfair they seem to be blithely unbothered. Perhaps the rich are immune to viruses, or perhaps they don’t panic easily. Whatever, it feels almost like Planet Normal.

Jeru’s entrance is small, easily overlooked, but given away by the presence of a large doorman. I’m used to these chaps giving me the fish eye, dressed up in my finest Mr George at ASDA, but this one sweeps the door open as if we’re royalty.

A wonderful aroma hits us and it comes from a wood-fired oven near the door where a man is pulling out fresh potato breads that smell divine. Come the New Year (now) this hopes to offer an all-day menu with pastries, coffees, small plates and natural wines.

Glamorous female greeters smoothly take our coats, an exotically dressed character, who must be the Maitre d,’ smiles benignly.

Cocktail, well why not? The bar is by the door and beckons us over and seated I reach up to take off the mask that the law requires I wear when walking from door to barstool. No, I can’t figure that one out either.

Two brilliant drinks later and we’re masked and back on the move to the rear of the restaurant, a room alive with light and laughter and with an open kitchen fired by charcoal down one of the longer sides.

Here is where Israeli-born, but Australian, chef Roy Ner is in charge. It’s Middle Eastern cuisine with plenty of twists. For example you’ll find meats on the menu from Northumbrian producers Hammond Charcuterie, and the kitchen is making its own Angus rump basturma, lamb and fennel salami, along with lamb bacon.

Invited in, we’ve had the difficult choice of what to eat taken care of for us with a set menu of reduced size dishes so we can try as much as possible.

The potato-fermented bread with truffle honey and lamb pancetta wows us, as does some ‘Tarbes Farm’ rump basturma. Cured Yellowtail Kingfish with dates, ginger, persimmon and lime leaves is another stunner.

The decor, when we can concentrate on that, and not the food, is stylish. We like the classic Middle Eastern arched doorway that led us into the main restaurant, and we admire the bespoke herb chandelier over the stairs. Our seating is cool too, it’s banquette style that lets us both enjoy the kitchen theatre on show.

Fried halloumi donuts with goat curd is as delicious as it sounds, but I’m not so keen on the Hasselback Jerusalem artichokes with goat whey and anchovies, I wanted more anchovy. Mind you, I always want more anchovy.

The dry-aged Kingfish with tahini, fermented chickpea and bisque works a treat though, the astringent sesame paste with the chickpea essentially creating a super-pimped hummus.

Roasted aubergine with a macadamia salsa and mint tahini is texturally interesting, the slippery aubergine hard up against the nuts but the flavour is not so engrossing. Luckily the mint tahini generously steps up to save the show. The charcoal cooking is evident in everything and in a good way.

Roast monkfish steak with a lemon verbena mayonnaise is quite superb, a creation I think only an Australian could come up with, ditto bone marrow with a mustard chickpea miso. What kind of person thinks up that? No one in the Old World.

And finally out of the shimmering furnace of the Josper, and at an eye watering price, comes Short Rib ‘CreekStone Farms’ MB4 with Muhammara trimming salsa (walnuts, red peppers, pomegranate molasses), and potato gratin. Superbly tender and deeply flavoursome, this dish was so rich I wish I’d started with it, as by now I was pretty stuffed. I had to leave some of the gratin, which was a shame. No photo this time, as the lights had dimmed.

Chef pops by and is charming and modest. He’s doing something very different here and I like it a lot, but I suspect certain Weekend Paper reviewers will hate it on principle (while still spending their expenses lavishly). It certainly is not cheap, but then it is Mayfair. I loved it, I think you will too.