We recently made a great new restaurant discovery! Well when I say ‘we’ I actually mean Eleanor, TBND’s little sis.
She invited us along to lunch at Arabica Bar & Kitchen for Saturday lunch, and who are we to turn down an invitation when it involves food?
Saturdays at Borough Market are always hectic. Rain, hail or shine there are literally thousands of people shuffling along, herd-like style, eyeing up the organic veg, stuffing their faces with pulled pork buns, and purchasing donuts for a take-home treat.
Herd-like shuffling does not bode well when you’re running late. And we were running late. TBND and I shoved our way through the people in the markets that were enjoying their Saturday, until we pushed past. Yes, I have become one of those irritable London residents that mutters under her breath ‘Damn Tourists!!’ Sorry. (I’m not actually).
If you’re a tourist, it’s simple, just remember these rules: ALWAYS stand on the right hand side of any escalator, NEVER exit a tube station and stand in the middle of the entrance getting your bearings – pleeaaaaase stand against the wall, and NEVER EVER stop in the middle of a crowded street, because believe me when I tell you someone will either crash straight into you from behind, or give you any combination of a death stare/insult/middle finger salute. You’re welcome.
We raced through the Arabica Bar & Kitchen doors, located Eleanor and took our seats.
The restaurant is less Aladdin and Jasmine and more modern-chic, if that’s a thing? Y’know, exposed pipes, and beautiful lights, that sorta thing?
TBND & Eleanor spent much of their childhood living in Israel, so Arabica Bar & Kitchen brought back memories of all the amazing food they ate whilst living there. The cuisine is described as ‘Levant’ which in more simple terms means a selection of dishes from countries including Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Armenia.
We turned our attention to the menu, but choosing was going to be no easy task.
Why? Because we wanted everything on offer. I was slightly concerned that I was going to be the annoying lunch guest yet again, you know the type, the one with intolerances. Yes that’s right. Plural. I’m a major pain the arse. Thankfully after checking with our waiter, the good news was that so many of their dishes were gluten free, hooray!
We spent a good five minutes observing the menu in the way an art critic would observe an oil painting. Because food is our art.
Decisions made, our waiter took our order and shortly after our food arrived. And damn was it good.
We started with hummus and flatbread, and grilled halloumi.
I had to look on in envy at the hummus and flat bread dipping that was occurring, though I was soon distracted by the deliciousness of the halloumi.
A feta salad arrived.
Followed by Cornish Mussels in a tomato, onion and harissa sauce.
The most beautiful looking Babaganoush was placed down between us. Consisting of half a charred aubergine, olive oil, lemon, parsley, mint, saffron yoghurt, pomegranate molasses and pinenuts.
We tucked in. It had quite a smoky flavour, but was tasty nonetheless.
The food kept arriving and we were not disappointed. Chicken and Pistachio Shish with cardamom, honey and green chilli was awesome.
The Spicy Lamb Kofta was SO GOOD. Don’t miss that off your order.
A rice dish arrived that I don’t recall the name of, but I remember it had cinnamon in, and it was actually my favourite dish on the table! I’m a sucker for anything cinnamon flavoured.
We finally finished up and we were completely stuffed and completely satisfied. Such a great place to dine for a Saturday lunch, or more precisely, anytime of the day/week. You should see their breakfast menu too, another reason to return!
Details here: Arabica Bar & Kitchen