This restaurant in the Chiswick High Road changed hands in 2016 and is now a Middle Eastern restaurant, though still serving food all day as its predecessor did. It is quite a small affair, seating less than thirty diners at capacity.
There were just a few wines listed, or alternatively there was corkage at £10. I tasted the house wine, a Turkish wine called Kavaklidere 2015 (£14.94 compared to a retail price of £8), and actually this seemed entirely palatable. Bread was bought in from a Turkish baker and was good, a mix of different breads offered with a yoghurt dip. Hummus was made from scratch in the kitchen and had plenty of chickpea flavour and smooth texture.
“Chicken strings” is an unappealing label for a dish but it tasted fine. The strips of chicken, marinated in ras el hanout spice mix, had meat that was cooked correctly but could have done with more of a spicy kick (11/20). Falaffel, made with chickpeas and broad beans flavoured with mint, sumac and cumin, was a touch dry though you could taste its component flavours quite well (11/20).
Salmon was seasoned with lime, fennel and honey was cooked too long and had rather dried out, which was a shame. It was served with potatoes and carliston pepper (a type of cayenne) along with halep (tomato and garlic) sauce. The potatoes were cooked properly but the salmon was much too dry (10/20). Far better was iman bayildi, its layers of aubergine, sautéed peppers combining nicely with the stew of onions with tomato and garlic. I am very partial to this dish, and am reminded of a fabulous version served at the late lamented Monsieur Max in Hampton Wick. The dish’s name means “the iman fainted”, supposedly due to a cleric fainting with delight when he was first served it. I stayed conscious but this was certainly a decent rendition of the dish (easily 12/20).
Baklava was bought in from Adanalilar, a noted Tottenham supplier of this classic pastry. It was moist and had sweet, rich pastry – an excellent baklava. Service was friendly, with a pleasant French waitress. Espresso was from Coffee Union, an excellent supplier. The bill came to £30 a head including corkage, which seemed reasonable. Citrus and Spice has no pretensions to be a destination dining place, but as a neighbourhood restaurant you could do a lot worse. Its chef/owner has clearly gone to some trouble to find good suppliers, and other than one dish the cooking was capable.