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The Barbary Coast evokes images of an exotic land of traders and pirates – and it provides inspiration for the second London restaurant from the team behind The Palomar. Like its big brother, The Barbary offers an enticing blend of Israeli cooking with Mediterranean ingredients, but also adds North African spices and cooking techniques. You’ll find a warm welcome and lively vibe in the cosy interior, which echoes a Middle Eastern courtyard with an open kitchen at its heart. No bookings are taken and there are just 24 counter seats. Breads are freshly baked: warm Jerusalem bagel comes with a traditional paper twist of za’atar spice for dipping. The short menu is divided into land (meat), sea (fish) and earth (vegetarian) dishes – all deftly spiced and seasoned, making flavours sing. We were transported to the Middle East with rich, tender Persian goat stew, slow-cooked for eight hours with turmeric, root veg and pomegranate juice. Perfectly grilled swordfish was simply served with capers, roast garlic and vine tomatoes. Desserts are sweet and fragrant – Beirut nights (semolina pudding with rose syrup) lives up to its name with enticing flavours – and another boon is the drinks list, encompassing trendy orange wines, vermouth and arak.
I LOVE The Palomar, so when I read that they had opened The Barbary, a new restaurant in Covent Garden it instantaneously jumped to the top of my list of must try restaurants. They don’t take reservations and all 20 or so seats are on the counter, around the kitchen. At Palomar, the counter seats are the place to be so why not have an all counter restaurant.
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So when the Life of Shayan get happy with one place they like to go again. You will all know how happy I was with The Palomar, therefore when I found out that they had a little brother, I had to go.The Barbary is slightly hidden in Neal&s Yard and having just launched, I only recently saw the shining lights.
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