The Barbary | Covent Garden Restaurant
The Barbary coast has inspired two great things:
1) A 16th Century pirate called Ali Bitchin who, true to his name, rose from being a slave to commanding an entire armada.
2) The second restaurant from the guys at The Palomar.
…And only one of them serves goat goulash.
Welcome to The Barbary.
You’ll find it tucked away in gorgeous, colourful Covent Garden nook Neal’s Yard. All dining all takes place along the weathered zinc bar that wraps around the open kitchen, which itself is surrounded by pitted plaster walls, left as they were found when the previous tenants’ wall coverings were stripped.
That open kitchen is serving up Barbary-inspired (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya) goodness like grilled duck hearts, huge Galician sirloin steaks, octopus mashawsha (it’s a type of houmous made with whole chickpeas), and asparagus with black tahini. The recommended move is to get a flatbread like their Barbary naan, or a Jerusalem bagel, then use it to soak up the various dips, sauces, and juices.
For dessert, there’s lemon mint sorbet (made with arack, a type of anise-based spirit) , the sweet cheese & pistachio knafeh, and a good old fashioned hashcake …which contains pistachio, not hash.
There are no bookings, but fear not – they have a dedicated “queue menu”, which they’ll serve to anyone waiting. You can park yourself on a Neal’s Yard bench, and order anything from sardine bruschetta, to seabags tartare fricassee, to Moroccan Cigars …which contain spiced minced lamb, not tobacco.
They’re still pretty bitchin’, though.
NOTE: The Barbary is now open Tuesday-Sunday, 5pm-10pm. They take walk-ins only, and you can find out more and view menus on their website HERE.
The Barbary | 16 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
Images: Carol Sachs
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