Barboun | An elegant Shoreditch Turkish restaurant
Turkey doesn’t have the best culinary reputation.
That’s why people usually only have it once a year.
Turkish food, on the other hand is absolutely delicious, and quite frankly needs to be eaten considerably more frequently than it currently is. Which is what Barboun is here to help with.
You’ll find it in Shoreditch staring across the road at the glammed-up hotspot Gloria over on Great Eastern Street. And in many ways, it’s the polar opposite of that restaurant: understated and subtle on the inside, with dishes drawn from generations of food heritage. The space has a light, elegant feel to it, thanks to pale wood furnishings, large globe lights, and a row of olive trees scored through its centre, and it all comes to us from the Turkish-Cypriot team behind standout Aegean joints Yosma & Horvada.
Some of the smaller dishes include pan-fried red mullet (which is what the restaurant is named after) with a chunky muhammara red pepper dip; some beef manti dumplings with oak-smoked paprika encased in a striking black dough (it’s made with activated charcoal, and adds a smokiness to the whole dish); and classic stuffed dolmas vine leaves, punched up with sun-dried aubergine & sour cherry.
The larger stuff runs from a simple grilled pumpkin with green tahini and hazelnut dukkah; to a whole grilled sea bass with fermented yoghurt tarhana and saffron cream; and a hefty hay-smoked beef short rib large enough for two to share, and served with the house’s iskender sauce (it’s a tomato & red pepper sauce popular in the Middle East – everyone has their own version).
To help all this down, there are barrel aged cocktails, and there’s a wine list repping Old World, New World, orange wines, and even a bottle of red from – of all places – Barbican.
Which deserves to be enjoyed more than once a year, too.
NOTE: Barboun is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find out more, see the menu, and make a reservation at their website right HERE.
Barboun | 61-67 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HU
Got a yen for Turkish food? Get thee to Yeni.