The Barbary: All The Flat Leaf Parsley
Nab a spot at The Palomar's tiny countertop and you'll be hard pressed to leave. With chefs bantering, music blaring and banging dishes, there is an infectious buzz. I've been a raving fan since my first lunch there in 2014, so when I heard they had a bun in the oven, I got pretty excited.
Said bun, or Jerusalem bagel, is The Barbary. Since opening week, as my Instagram feed filled with harrissa this and hashcake (yes) that, friends and industry contacts gushed about how great it was. I'm keen. Of course, like all the cool kids on the block, it's no-bookings, so my star bar pal Rach rocks up to secure us a spot. If you're not lucky enough to have a 'Rachel' in your life, pop your name on the list and head across to CDVS for wine whilst you wait.
Everyone's sat around a gorgeous horseshoe bar, with snackers and drinkers stood alongside. The menu is tactfully split into baking, grinding (hello), land, sea, earth, heaven and digestive. If you're four or more, it's small enough to order the lot, but as it's countertop dining, I say dates at the Barbary are best enjoyed with just two people.
Chickpea porn and baba ghanoush dips are followed up with a hefty heap of halloumi. Lamb 'zuzu' sneaks its way onto the table, delivering a welcome blast of protein. Monkfish comes with a satisfyingly meaty punch but it's the charred octopus 'mashawsha' which steals the show.
The Barbary's 'hashcake' is currently having a moment in dessert world and, the oohs and aahs from Rach and everyone around me say it all. Date ice cream is also different level of gooey gorgeousness.
So, if you do have to wait a few minutes for a seat, stick it out, knowing you're in for a delicious expedition through warmer more exotic climes than amidst Covent Garden's madness.
Five Very Kerri things about The Barbary
- Date night sorted
- Countertop bants
- Spicy and saucy
- Value for money
- All the flat leaf parsley