Thursday, 7 July 2016


Premium meze

Cheers! Barbary style

Neal Yard is slowly turning into a rather special food and drink hub in London, from the excellent Native to the ever popular Homeslice. The latest opening, Barbary is perhaps one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in London. Opened by the same people behind the hugely successful Palomar in Soho. It wasn't long since I had a really enjoyable and interesting meal at its sister restaurant Palomar, and that was the main reason I decided to pay Barbary a visit. It was a tiny restaurant with less than 30 seats surrounding the open kitchen, it was a very informal place, almost like a tapas bar. The menu was a lot shorter than Palomar, with the cooking heavily focused on North African and Mediterranean style, brought out by plenty of exotic spices.

Moroccan cigars
Duck hearts
Octopus Mashawsha
Pata Negra neck

The duck heat had a mild earthy and savoury taste, it had an interesting smooth texture with just the right level of seasoning. The pata negra neck was truly a world class piece of pork cooking, the texture was really spot on, I really enjoyed the smoky flavours from the grilling and the bold, robust taste of the premium cut of the meat, it was simply faultless. Less successful was the goat goulash, the flavour of the meat was lost in its really rich and heavy goulash dressing which made the dish rather mediocre. On the other hand, the octopus was as tender as you can wish for, it cut like butter with the perfect seasoning, the peppery tone and the coolness of the yogurt also proven to be an excellent combination.

Goat Goulash
Galician sirloin
Hash cake

Barbary's cooking went beyond of my expectation, the dishes might look simple but the flavours were pretty special. Barbary was a difference beast to Palomor with its cooking style much simpler and more grilling heavy, from very high quality ingredients. The service was also excellent, with both waiters and chefs engaging diners with humble smiles. The only thing that put me off is the cost, some dishes (starter sizes) cost close to the 
£20 mark. With only a cup of tea, the bill still came to over £100 for two. But still, I can see Barbary would go on and become a real success, based on the reputation of Palomar and busy location plus its interesting cooking concept.

Food 4/5

What I paid: 

£51 per head

Average cost without drinks and services:


16 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP

The Barbary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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