Exploring the Barbary Coast at The Barbary, Covent Garden
Review: Dinner at The Barbary, Covent Garden, London
Style Points: 3/5
Located in Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, The Barbary is a small restaurant serving cuisine inspired by the trade, travel and culture of the Barbary Coast. I was intrigued by the concept of food originating from a range of countries along the Atlantic Coast through to the Mediterranean Sea and leading to Israel, all of which have flavours I couldn’t wait to try.
Often the food which was available on the Barbary Coast was cooked through grilling on coals or baking in ancient clay ovens, and the restaurant reflects this with a large barbecue in the middle of the restaurant. This open kitchen is surrounded by bar style seating that makes up the entirety of the small restaurant. As a result it is worth arriving early to avoid queuing for quite a while.
What’s on the menu?
The Barbary culinary heritage is about seasonality, and so the menu is often changing at this restaurant.
We started our meal with a refreshing elderflower and mint pressé, their infamous sesame clad Jerusalem bagel and Terry's Tirshy dip. The bagel and Tirshy dip combination was delicious and we even ordered a naan e Barbari to eat with the remaining dip.
The menu at The Barbary is based on small sharing plates and so we ordered capsicum haloumi, cauliflower jaffa style and black salmon dukkah to try amongst us. The black salmon dish was my favourite as I had watched it being cooked on the fire in front of me and seen it plated up and presented to me moist and delectable.
We ended our meal with halva ice cream as I had heard great things about this dish. It was sweet and light and just what we needed to finish our meal.
Could I afford to dine here again?
The prices at The Barbary are slightly on the pricy end of the scale, especially as the portions are also quite small. The starters are between £3 to £5 and the main courses between £7 and £17.
Dining at The Barbary was an educational experience, as we had to ask our waitress to explain the majority of the dishes on the menu because they were completely new to us! I enjoyed trying the new flavours and combinations and as a result had a good time dining at The Barbary.
Visit The Barbary’s website
Address: 16 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP
Tube Station: Covent Garden