Syrian refugee - who reached the UK after three month journey - opens falafel restaurant in Soho

Imad Alarnad used to run three restaurants in Damascus, but he had to leave it all behind and flee when war started.

A Syrian refugee - who journeyed for three months to the UK after fleeing war - has set up his own restaurant in Soho.

Imad Alarnad used to run three eateries in Damascus, before the conflict started.

However he had to flee, and leave his belongings, his house and his restaurants behind as he “rushed out of Syria”.

Imad Alarnad at Syrian Kitchen of Carnaby Street. Credit: Claudia Marquis

“I was scared that it was difficult to make it, but I had no other choice,” he said.

Imad’s fresh falafels and pittas. Credit: Claudia Marquis

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is his first restaurant in London, located in Carnaby Street’s Kingly Court, in Soho.

He started cooking at the age of eight, and says his mother taught him his cooking skills and taught him English.

“I used to be a mumma’s boy, she’s the one who taught me how to cook,” Imad said.

His specialist dish is freshly-made falafel.

The chef explained that he still missed Syria from before the war.

“During the war, it is not the same city anymore,” Imad said, sadly.

“I miss my own Damascus, the one before 2012.”