Arabica Bar & Kitchen 1

3 Rochester Walk, Borough Market , London, SE1 9AF

Arabica 2014

SquareMeal Review of Arabica Bar & Kitchen

Deep in Borough Market, this restaurant spin-off from Arabica's popular food and spice stall has made quite an impression on readers, who love the "sheer breadth of tastes" on a menu that stretches "from Athens via Yerevan and Old Jaff to Cairo". The whole place may shake as trains rattle overhead, but its dramatic location beneath a railway arch (plus blaring music) adds to the fun-loving, "strangely comforting" vibe. Hits from the vast Middle Eastern/international menu have included big, crunchy lamb kibbeh, "superbly done" lahmacun (Armenian pizza), authentic tarama and slices of raw yellowfin tuna in a spiky dressing of citrus, chilli and rose water – although we're also fans of the knafeh (warm Levantine cheese pastry topped with orange-blossom honey and crushed pistachios). The cost of numerous small plates can soon add up, but punters are rarely disappointed.

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Arabica Bar & Kitchen is recommended for

Breakfast

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

London Bridge Tube Station 322m

London Bridge Station 387m

Address

Address: 3 Rochester Walk, Borough Market , London SE1 9AF

Area: South Bank Borough etc

Opening times

Mon-Wed 11am-11pm Thurs-Sat 8.30am-11pm Sun 11am-4pm

Nearby Landmarks

Borough Market 103m

Vinopolis 186m

Details

Telephone: 020 3011 5151

Website:

Cuisine: Middle Eastern Lebanese

8.3

Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 7.3

Atmosphere: 7.6

Value: 6.6

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Lesley T. bronze reviewer 24 August 2017

Have eaten here a few times, and it is always really good. The menu is enticing, with 'standard' Greek/Turkish/Lebanese dishes done very well indeed, often with a slight twist or extra. There are then other more adventurous or unusual items on the menu, always interesting, and I usually end up ordering too much!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Alex S. bronze reviewer 09 November 2016

I liked this place for its informality and buzzy atmosphere but above all delicious food. Didn't get the best table given I had made the effort to book and tables are very tightly packed together, but somehow that didn't matter. Service was good and friendly and interesting wine list. Really good selection of classics which were well executed but also some interesting dishes I hadn't tried before. Definitely woth a look in if you're passing by.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Bernard S. 16 August 2016

Excellent food, casual environment, service with a smile. Some of the spicy sauces come with quite a kick!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Sue H. bronze reviewer 16 November 2015

On arrival the smell of cooked meat was really appetising. It was hard to choose, and we enjoyed everything we ordered, particularly the hummus and flat bread, and the mushroom salad. The size of the salad was disappointing for the price, and we had to work hard to attract the waiters attention both to order and to get the bill. Overall though, a good place to lunch, in a lively spot. I will definitely come back.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Sue H. bronze reviewer 16 November 2015

On arrival the smell of cooked meat was really appetising. It was hard to choose, and we enjoyed everything we ordered, particularly the hummus and flat bread, and the mushroom salad. The size of the salad was disappointing for the price, and we had to work hard to attract the waiters attention both to order and to get the bill. Overall though, a good place to lunch, in a lively spot. I will definitely come back.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Hugo G. silver reviewer 27 May 2015

Arabica is both good and average, depending on your motivation. Service is far from slick, but they are trying to do their best with a menu that stretches from from Athens via Yerevan and Old Jaffa to Cairo. We were there on a Tuesday lunchtime, and the trains shook the place as they rattled overhead - rather a nice touch we thought, being both slightly alarming the first time you feel and hear it and ultimately strangely comforting once acclimatised. Covering such a large part of the gastronomic globe is a challenge they meet very well - a Lahmacun (Armenian pizza) with lamb, tomato and spices was superbly done as was a large Lamb Kibbeh, crunchy yet beautifully moist inside. Their version of Hummus Kavurma or Schwarma (depending on who you are talking to) was good, but the lamb was barely tepid on arrival. Home made Tarama pleased with its authenticity and slices of yellowfin tuna came fresh and raw with a delicious dressing. The house pickles and smoked almonds are no more than average, but their spicy lamb kofta is deliciously plump and and full of flavour. Arabica is certainly worth a visit if you're in the area and love meze and all things mid eastern, but it's not one for a sole pilgrimage. They have brought together a few interesting ideas in a cool space, but on our day I'd say the service was amateurish at best, those looking after us were definitely under instruction and initiative was no where to be seen. We didn't drink but the wine list looks well thought out and should please most palates. In summary certainly worth a shot for the sheer breadth of taste and quality of cooking.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

garry b. platinum reviewer 23 April 2015

First visit here and will return. Service was good and helpful with choice of food. Very enjoyable food, and tasty, with a good selection to share. The pickled vegetables were a nice change and gave a good edge to the grilled food.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Jane B. 08 August 2014

I went to this resturant last night with a friend. It's just opened a month ago so it was realy busy and the earliest table we could get was 9pm – which I don't have a problem with if it lived upto it's expectations. Beause this place started off as a market stall in Borough market, maybe they're trying recreate that feel to keep the place casual. – which is absolutely fine and I loved the ambiance, But the problem is, though many of the dishes tasted godd, they were nothing special. Everything was very over priced for the volume you get. When you asked for wine recommendations they bully you into a very overpriced wine of £40 or more, saying the other cheaper wines are not good quality (so why the hell are they on their menu?) My overall opinion of this place was , it probably was a great food stall in a market. But they're serving you great stall food, on a plate and charging you for high end london restaurant prices. They take a 12.5% service charge and give you diner napkins from a dispenser. I think at the begining people will keep going, but after a while, I'm sure customers will realise that there is a miss match in what you're offered as a service and the money you're charged. I was quite dissapointed with the overall expereince. I won't be going again. I can though recommend a fabulous Levantine restaurant which does do great food and service which you'll be proud and happy to pay for !

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