You may remember my post a while back about Nat.ive and me gushing about how much I love Neal’s Yard. Its the most adorable little courtyard with some of the yummiest little restaurants nestled together. So when I popped over this time, I wanted to try a new one!
The Barbary takes its food inspiration from the Mediterranean, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, combining exotic products with flavoursome spices and different cooking techniques. Its another small plate style restaurant, which seem to be all the rage at the moment. The menu is nicely split into Land, Sea, Earth and heaven, making it pretty straightforward to try a bit of everything.
The restaurant itself is small, much like the majority of the restaurants in Neal’s Yard. The seating area is centralised around the chefs working away in the middle of the room with bar style standing at the side while you wait.
While we waited for our table we ordered a portion of halloumi fries, something I can’t say I’ve had before, but was certainly intrigued by, being a huge fan of halloumi…..and anything fried!
They were really delicious. Not at all greasy and perfectly crisp, they were the best snack to tide us over. If I’m honest, I could have eaten a whole portion to myself!
Once we were seated we had the menu explained to us by our lovely waitress, suggesting we try one or two dishes from each section of the menu. We started off with a Jerusalem Bagel, a beautifully warm, freshly baked ring shape portion of bread which was sesame seeded and also served with za’atar to sprinkle on top. We also ordered a portion of Tbecha roasted tomatoes and baba ghanoush to go with it.
The roasted tomatoes were lovely, but also had a real kick to it, so if you’re not a fan of spice, maybe try something else instead. The baba ghanoush was also delicious and is always a fail safe option when ordering dips.
Up next we went for the Salmon Pharoah Style and Chicken Msachen for myself, and a portion of Cauliflower Jaffa Style and a Fattush Salad for the vegetarian friend.
Personally I prefered the salmon over the chicken. Both were lovely, but the flavours and seasoning on the salmon were just divine. The cauliflower was also a huge hit. Usually I find cauliflower has to be smothered in cheese for it to have any sort of flavour, but this came in a light but fragrant tomato sauce that would have gone perfectly with any of the main dishes. The salad was also very very tasty. Again very light, but packed full of flavour and spices.
By the time we were finished we were both sufficiently stuff and couldn’t possibly manage dessert. The food was all delicious and the service was also great. The only downside to this little gem is that they dont take bookings, so I wouldn’t recommend coming here if you have somewhere specific to be after you’ve eaten, such as a play, or if theres a big group of you as you may be waiting a while.