As the sister site to its Borough market location, Arabica’s new 66 cover restaurant in the recently developed Kings Cross area offers up a whole new menu inspired by the Mediterranean and Middle East with some of the most-loved dishes from its Borough Market counterpart thrown in for good measure.
With dark wood communal bench like seating, large windows and modern furnishings the restaurant had a nice buzz to it as we arrived for an early dinner, that intensified throughout the night.
Starting with drinks, all inspired by classic cocktails with a middle eastern twist we went for the Rania’s Spritz, a variation on the classic Aperol Spritz with rosewater, chilli and sea salt and the espresso martini which was a little too strong to be properly enjoyed.
When it came to ordering, helpful and knowledgeable staff recommended ordering four dishes per person to be shared. To start, the hummus kx with subtle hints of chilli and garlic coming through to add a little something extra to the standard dip came paired with a moutabel aubergine dip which was a favourite of the evening, the smokiness of the aubergine was complemented perfectly by the sweetness of the pomegranate, all mopped up with piping hot, soft and fluffy flatbreads which arrived in paper bags.
Salty grilled halloumi with Turkish figs and orange blossom honey came next, accompanied by the Lahmacun Turkish style pizza which had a perfectly thin and crisp base topped with flavoursome lamb mince, sumac onions and lemon.
Other dishes we enjoyed throughout the evening included the Lebanese 7 spice chicken wings, berbere spiced cauliflower which was full of great flavours but a little tricky to get through as half a cauliflower was put in front of us, batata harra and Turkish peppers – a Russian roulette of mild and sweet mixed with hot and almost unbearably spicy (eat with caution).
With Middle Eastern restaurants restaurants popping up all over the city nowadays, it is difficult to decipher noticeable differences in this fairly simple cuisine. However, friendly and attentive staff, modern décor and great buzz throughout the evening mixed with unique and memorable dishes make Arabica a must visit for a casual week night dinner.