The Barbary coast has inspired two great things:
1) A 16th Century pirate called Ali Bitchin who, true to his name, rose from being an enslaved person 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 lamb shish fistuk (lamb kebabs sprinkled with pistachio crumb); black salmon dukkah; or pata negra neck (marbled neck fillet of Iberico pork, served with a date syrup and confit garlic). 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, baklawa (layered filo pastry, stuffed full of chopped nuts and syrup); Malabi (Israeli rice pudding); 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 open daily for lunch and dinner. They generally take walk-ins only (except for a limited number of bookings at the start of lunch and dinner), and you can find out more and view menus on their website HERE.
The Barbary | 16 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
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