One of Farringdon’s more exotic eateries, Darbucka peddles wallet-friendly Lebanese/Syrian cooking in a vivacious, harem-esque dreamscape of hanging lanterns, draped fabrics & Arabian Nights-style opulence – not forgetting the eastern promise of belly dancing & live music in the atmospheric downstairs bar. The menu allows a few impostors from beyond the Levant (Moroccan lamb & fig tagine, say), but most attention focuses on the mezze & the output of the charcoal grill. Nibble your way through falafel, fatoush, makanek (spicy lamb sausage) & batinjan bin laban (fried aubergine with yoghurt), before tackling one of the kebabs or a bowl of couscous. For an unusual finish, try mouhallabieh – a Lebanese milk pudding with rosewater, pistachios & honey. It remains to be seen if new management can sort out the problem of sluggish service.
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