My friend recommended that my husband and I try the Barbary when we visited London in December. Located in the Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, this is a small (24-seat) gem serving food inspired by the Barbary Coast. The Barbary takes you on a culinary journey across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, through the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, leading to Israel.
It was a cold and rainy afternoon that we wandered into the Barbary for a late lunch. The restaurant only reservations as noon Monday to Sunday and 5 p.m. on Monday to Friday for parties of 4, all others are walk-ins. We were lucky that we arrived after 2:00 on a Monday and while the place was packed, we got a seat. Every seat is at the bar with a view to live-fire cooking where the meal is prepared in front of you.
We started with a Lustau Vermut Rojo from Spain. They have a small cocktail and wine menu, with very reasonably priced by the glass, nothing over 10 pounds.
The service at the Barbary is excellent. The servers know the menu, are full of energy and bring the menu to life in their descriptions. Based on our server’s recommendations, with the Naan and Msabacha Chickpeas. The Naan was lightly spiced and the chickpeas were creamy with a subtle sweetness. The other starter was a fried fish cigar with a sumac yoghurt sauce.
For our main, we shared wood-fire Brussels sprouts and a smoky grilled asparagus with a sour mango sauce. Dessert was Baklava with Turkish coffee with a rose water chaser.
When we return to London we will be sure to visit the Barbary again.