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.