Barboun

Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Modern European, Spanish, Turkish·
££££
·

SquareMeal Review of Barboun

The serene atmosphere of this Levantine newcomer makes for a calming contrast with the grimy streets of buzzing Shoreditch. Sleek furnishings, soft lighting and muted colours all strike a sophisticated note in the spacious interior, as too chic banquette seating and gold accents.

We kicked off with some Mediterranean-inspired cocktails and snacked on taramasalata and melt-in-the-mouth bone marrow with a harissa crust – a delicious textural experience that boded well for the small plates to come.

Manti was one of the best dishes we tried. The spicy black Turkish dumplings are stuffed with beef and sit in a full-bodied, oak-smoked paprika sauce, all the richness offset by garlic yoghurt. We also enjoyed smoked eel, a subtle and clever dish served on a bed of split pea purée, drizzled with carob and complemented by tangy caper leaves. Beetroot fritters were just as good, served with a mint-whipped feta that hit the right notes of salty and sweet, while the borek were a textbook rendition of a mezze classic.

The bigger plates, sadly, didn’t live up the high expectations set by the mezze. Sea bass, though crisp on the outside and succulent within, was let down by the fermented yoghurt and saffron tarhana. Lamb rump was better, nicely cooked to medium rare and sitting on a bed of smoky aubergine, sweet roast garlic and yoghurt – all nice as individual components but not a harmonious combination when taken as a whole. A side order of fattoush, however, was faultless.

For dessert, kanafeh – a deliciously cheesy and sweet Middle Eastern delicacy, with syrup to pour over the crunchy topping – came out on top. We were also pleasantly surprised by a delightfully oozy tahini fondant which hit all the right (and unexpected) notes you’d want in a pudding, and was complemented by a hazelnut ice cream. All in all, Barboun offers a refreshing change from the Shoreditch norm.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Modern European, Spanish, Turkish
Ambience
Cool, Cosy
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner
Special Features
Counter dining, Dog friendly, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Barboun

With food and interiors inspired by the eastern Mediterranean, Barboun's Levantine menus are welcome respite amid the humdrum of East London and Shoreditch. Barboun itself sits in a nice spot on Great Eastern Street, equidistant between Shoreditch High Street and Old Street, making this restaurant easy to get to from all over town.

Interiors are definitely part of the restaurant's charm - there are trees as far as the eye can see, giving the restaurant a calm, tranquil vibe, whilst the furnishings are all sleek and soft, with a pop of colour from the plum-coloured banquette seating. With capacity for about 100 diners at any one time, Barboun is one of the bigger restaurants in the area, with plenty of room for larger groups.

The menu is a representation of food across the Levantine coast, from Turkey and Cyprus, all the way down through Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan. As you might expect there's plenty of seafood, with starters including whitebait with squid ink mayo, red mullet with preserved lemon and hazelnut, and prawn saganaki in smoked butter bisque, as well as sea bream and halibut from the wood-fired mangal grill. That grill is the star of the show here, as it is responsible for all the mains - not just fish but also steak, chicken, lamb and smoked turlu, a Turkish vegetable casserole that comes with confit garlic yogurt and spinach chermoula. 

That's just the dinner menu - Barboun also serves breakfast, from bakery items to tahini porridge and shakshuka, to brunch on the weekends that includes most of the breakfast offering, plus some larger mains, sharing platters and cocktails. Wines are a worldly bunch, including a few bottles from as far afield as Turkey, Georgia and Lebanon.

This venue also offers

Barboun
Private Group Dining

Barboun

Barboun
Event Party Venue

Barboun

Location

61-67 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3HU

020 3995 3622

Website

Opening Times

Breakfast
Mon 07:00-11:00
Tue 07:00-11:00
Wed 07:00-11:00
Thu 07:00-11:00
Fri 07:00-11:00
Sat 07:00-11:00
Sun 07:00-11:00
Brunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 11:30-15:00
Sun 11:30-15:00
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:00-23:00
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat 17:00-23:00
Sun Closed

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