NEW VIDEO: “We have a real fusion of multiculturalism, a mix of humans, that’s what Cue Point is”

The Staff Canteen

Located in Orbit Beer’s brewery under railway arches in South London lies Cue Point London, a British Afghan smokehouse and inclusive caterer company, operated by Director and Co-Founder Mursal Saiq and Head Chef and Co-Founder Josh Moroney.

Successfully combining some of London’s best barbequed meats with traditional Afghan dishes, Cue Point’s reputation is well known by Londoners north and south of the Thames following a plethora of rave reviews, appearances on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, as well as stints cooking alongside Tom Kerridge and other prominent British chefs at food festivals across the country.

“We started 10 years ago now and primarily do an Afghan twist on barbeque. We use an American smoker where it’s generally smoked meats with really amazing tasty Afghan veg dishes.” explained Josh.

As well as the accolades and their unique food and drink offering, Cue Point has successfully created an inclusive community culture, with the aim of improving Britain’s hospitality sector for operators and guests.

“Yes we specialise in smoked meats, and in recreating and elevating Afghan dishes, but these dishes are inclusive in the sense that we try and provide permissible (the English translation of Halal) meats, gluten free options, vegan options, and just try and make spaces integrated across the hospitality industry,” explained Mursal.

Explaining how Cue Point’s food style has changed over the last 10 years, Josh added; “Our cooking style changed from about six years ago because we weren’t halal when we started, and then we saw all this opening up and separation, so we’re just trying to bring as many people as we can into one area.”

Cue Point London

Cue Point operates out of Orbit Beers brewery situated in Walworth, South London, where it provides indoor and outdoor spaces for guests, which it shares with brewery’s tap room.

Open 5pm to 9pm Wednesday to Friday, 12pm to 9pm on Saturday, and 12pm to 6pm Sunday, Cue Point offers a rich variety of barbequed meats, cooked in a huge American smoker, as well as wide range of Halal, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free dishes.

Barbacoa Sharer

Guests can expect dishes such as Mantu Afghan dumplings, served with minty yoghurt and spicy lentil sauces; as well as Barbecoa sharers, with barbecued beef brisket, braised in onion, garlic and spices, served in tomato sauce with mozzarella and fresh naan breads.

“Simplicity is my key. I love simple fresh flavours. I know I work with a smoker where it’s intense heavy flavours, but it shows in our sauces how much I like to break down those flavours,” explained Josh.

He added: “We have our chutney which is very citrusy and chilli-based, and our jalapeno chili jam which is sweet and chili-based again, so for me it’s all about cutting through these flavours.”

Smokehouse Excellence and Multicultural Champions

Side by side, Mursal and Josh’s background, previous experiences and cooking styles couldn’t be more different.

The different styles and backgrounds represent the company and everything that Cue Point offers, everything from the beautiful synergy between two very different food styles, to Cue Point’s unequivocal support for inclusivity and multiculturalism.

“Cue Point is very much based on me and my founder. I was born in Afghanistan, raised in India, and then grew up here in Hackney so my flavour profiles are everywhere,” Mursal revealed.

As well as being a successful business person and a quality chef, Mursal is also a refugee, who fled with her family from Afghanistan in the 1990s following conflicts between the Taliban and the then Northern Alliance.

After stints between India and Afghanistan, Mursal and her family arrived in London, originally North London, before later moving to Hackney.

“My entire cognitive development was war, war, war, displacement and then England. A lot of things got very confused,” Mursal revealed.

Describing the struggles of settling in the UK, Mursal added: “We moved to North London and it was really racist. We received quite a lot of racial abuse in North London, so my dad moved us to Hackney which then had the highest proportion of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants. Hackney for me was a godsend, without it I would have been a very broken young woman.”

Director and Co-Founder Mursal Saiq
and Head Chef and Co-Founder Josh Moroney

Discussing her cooking style, Mursal revealed she is inspired and influenced by Afghan heritage and the dishes her mother cooked growing.

“Mum’s cooking is incredibly Afghan. She’s from Kabul and we’re from Tajik tribe, which has a very particular way of cooking. It’s very aromatic and features a lot of peasant foods that we elevate here at Cue Point,” she explained.

Focussing on Josh’s experience, Mursal added: “My co-founder and business partner comes from a smokehouse background but he’s also classically trained. He’s mixed his classical training with the smoked meats and then in with all these Afghan dishes.”

With an extensive experience in the world of smoked barbecue Josh has developed diverse cooking techniques and methods, from Argentinian to Texan to Afghan to Guyanese & Brazilian, taking Josh’s creations to new heights.

“We have a real fusion of multiculturalism, a mix of humans, that’s what our company is – a mutt of London,” Mursal explained.

Plans for the Future

As a constant stream of punters from a wide variety of backgrounds order Josh and Mursal’s exceptional food and mix with fellow patrons across the brewery’s shared space, it’s very clear to see Cue Point’s success, and its reputation amongst diners, drinkers, families and barbecue aficionados.

However, this success has not been easy for Josh and Mursal and represents a decade of hard work, growing a business as British hospitality continues to wrestle with significant longstanding never-ending challenges.

Josh said: “Everyone has less to spend, everything is more expensive, so it just doesn’t add up. It has been a struggle, I’m not going to lie, but it does show the longevity of what we do and how solid it is and how far we can take it really.”

Agreeing with Josh’s sentiment, Mursal revealed: “We’re self-financed. It’s been so important to us in the last few years that if it’s not the right person to invest in us, to understand and believe the ethos of what we’re trying to do, it’s not for us.”

As 2023 edges to a close, Mursal and Josh’s focus is on where they go from this strong base that they’ve crafted and put their soul in, with the pair looking at opening their first permanent site, experimenting with online commerce, as well as further efforts to create an inclusive community space for everyone.

“We’ve definitely found likeminded individuals and we want to open Cue Point’s first restaurant. We want to have our first inclusive beverage where we have mocktails next to cocktails, next to non-alcoholics, next to alcoholic beers, next to all the people we’ve been working with and really bringing it all together,” Mursal explained.

Looking to the future, agreeing with Mursal, Josh said: “We’re definitely going to have a restaurant by next year. I’d personally love to start something e-commerce up but we’ll see how that goes, but definitely the restaurant. The restaurant will be the key.”


A post shared by @cuepointldn (@cuepointldn)

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd November 2023

NEW VIDEO: “We have a real fusion of multiculturalism, a mix of humans, that’s what Cue Point is”