The Barbary is the sister restaurant to The Palomar – how is that for a credential?! It has been on my infamous list for a very long time but I had never managed to make it over there since I assumed that is would always be full, but it was my lucky day!
From a logistical perspective, the Barbary is pretty small and it only takes bookings at 12 noon and 5 pm. The rest of the time, it operates a walk-in policy so I would say this probably isn’t a good spot for large group meals. It is all counter-based seating which I think is fantastic since you can see the fresh food coming out, see what other people have ordered and also speak to the chefs who are a lively bunch! I have to say, the staff at the restaurant are incredibly welcoming and were so knowledgeable about the food – they really helped make the overall experience a brilliant one.
The food was delicious. I had high expectations going in, but honestly, it just made me so happy! Now I’m sure you’re wondering what we ordered, here is the full lowdown:
To start with, we had the Halloumi Fries served with a fresh dipping sauce, the Beetroot & Labneh and the Zhug, Harissa, Burnt & Pickled chilli – all accompanied with a Jerusalem Bagel.
The halloumi fries were delicious: crunch on the outside with just a hint of spice and delicious on the inside. I pretty much used the whole bagel to scoop up out all the flavour from the other two dishes. The labneh was smooth and creamy and complimented the beetroot, whilst the chillies packed a punch but were so tasty – the green coriander one was my favourite!
Onto the next set of dishes – after all, the evening was a joyful food fest. I had the Cauliflower Jaffa Style along with the Gezer Baladi from the “Earth” section of the menu. These were some tasty vegetables! The cauliflower had a little crispiness on the outside and it was served with fresh tomato and a creamy yet tangy sauce. It was just delicious! The Gezer Baladi was effectively carrots and beetroot smothered in spice and ground nuts served with a creamy sauce – it paired really well with the chillies. My advice: order a naan and use it to scoop up every last bite!
I was so full but of course there is always space for dessert from the aptly named “Heaven” section. We went for the Hashcake which was a lovely dessert, not too sweet with a pistachio and butter paste in the middle – I thought I would only have a bite, but I cleaned the whole plate! Our waiter was also kind enough to let us try a scoop of the Bay Leaf ice cream – again not too sweet and just the right thing to finish off the meal
Overall, The Barbary was such a delight! The staff, the food, the atmosphere – we didn’t have to wait long for a table but it would certainly be worth the wait if you do. One of the best culinary gems of London.