The Barbary Next Door, Covent Garden: Restaurant Review

Step inside The Barbary Next Door, located in the vibrant district of Covent Garden, and be transported to a world of exotic aromas and mouth-watering dishes. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this hidden gem as you indulge in a menu that beautifully showcases the diverse culinary traditions of the Barbary Coast.

From the moment you enter, you’ll be captivated by the bustling open kitchen, where talented chefs meticulously craft each dish with a blend of passion and expertise. Discover the bold flavours of Moroccan tagines, Egyptian falafel, and Lebanese mezze, all carefully prepared using the finest ingredients sourced from local markets.

The History and Concept of The Barbary Next Door

The Barbary Next Door is a culinary oasis nestled in the heart of Covent Garden. Inspired by the vibrant culinary traditions of the Barbary Coast, the restaurant pays homage to the diverse flavours and cultures that have shaped this region. The concept behind The Barbary Next Door is to create a space where guests can embark on a culinary journey, immersing themselves in the rich history and traditions of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.

The name “The Barbary Next Door” is derived from the historical term “Barbary Coast,” which refers to the coastal regions of North Africa. This region has a rich culinary heritage, influenced by a mix of Arab, Berber, and Mediterranean flavours. The restaurant aims to bring these flavours to life, offering guests an authentic taste of the Barbary Coast in the heart of London.

the barbary next door

The Ambiance and Decor of The Barbary Next Door

As you step into The Barbary Next Door, you’ll be greeted by a warm and inviting ambiance that transports you to the vibrant streets of the Barbary Coast. The restaurant features a rustic and eclectic decor, with exposed brick walls, handcrafted wooden furniture, and colourful tiles adorning the floors.

The open kitchen, located at the centre of the restaurant, adds to the lively atmosphere. Here, you can witness the skilled chefs in action as they prepare each dish with precision and flair. The sizzling sounds and tantalizing aromas that fill the air create an immersive dining experience, making you feel like you’ve been transported to a bustling market in Marrakech or Cairo.

The seating arrangements at The Barbary Next Door are designed to promote a sense of community. Guests have the option to sit at the long communal table, where they can interact with fellow diners and share their culinary experiences. Alternatively, cosy booths and private tables are available for those seeking a more intimate dining experience.

The Menu and Culinary Offerings

The menu at The Barbary Next Door is a testament to the rich culinary traditions of the Barbary Coast. Each dish is carefully crafted to showcase the vibrant flavours and unique ingredients that define this region. From aromatic spices to fresh herbs, the menu is a sensory delight that will transport your taste buds to new heights.

Start your culinary journey with a selection of mezze, small plates that are perfect for sharing. The mezze menu features classics such as hummus, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh, as well as lesser-known delights like muhammara, a spicy red pepper and walnut dip. Pair these flavoursome starters with freshly baked pita bread, and you’re in for a treat.

the barbary next door
Dips including the machluta, mashed butternut squash on top of tahini ||| Credit: Georgia Rudd

For the main course, The Barbary Next Door offers a range of tantalizing options. From succulent lamb tagines to fragrant chicken kebabs, each dish is a celebration of the bold flavours that define Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their signature dish, the Barbary lamb shoulder, slow-cooked to perfection and served with a side of couscous.

Vegetarians and vegans will also find plenty of options to delight their palates. The menu features a selection of plant-based dishes, such as falafel wraps, stuffed vine leaves, and grilled vegetable skewers. The chefs at The Barbary Next Door take pride in their ability to create flavourful and satisfying dishes that cater to all dietary preferences.

Signature Dishes and Must-Try Items

When dining at The Barbary Next Door, there are a few standout dishes that you simply cannot miss. One such dish is the Shakshuka, a traditional North African dish consisting of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. The combination of runny yolks, tangy tomatoes, and fiery spices creates a flavour explosion that will leave you craving for more.

Another must-try item is the Ras el Hanout-spiced lamb chops. Cooked to perfection and seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices, these tender and juicy chops are a true delight for meat lovers. Paired with a side of grilled vegetables and a refreshing mint yogurt sauce, this dish is a symphony of flavours that will leave your taste buds singing.

For dessert, indulge in the decadent baklava, a sweet pastry filled with nuts and soaked in honey syrup. The flaky layers and nutty filling create a delightful combination of textures, and the sweetness of the honey adds the perfect finishing touch.

the barbary next door
Tunisian fricassee, with mackerel, quail’s eggs and tiny savoury doughnut balls ||| Credit: Georgia Rudd

The Dining Experience at The Barbary Next Door

At The Barbary Next Door, dining is not just about the food; it’s an experience that engages all your senses. From the moment you enter the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who are passionate about sharing the culinary traditions of the Barbary Coast.

The open kitchen allows you to witness the chefs in action, as they prepare each dish with precision and care. The sizzling sounds and tantalizing aromas that fill the air create an immersive dining experience, transporting you to the bustling streets of Marrakech or Cairo.

The communal seating encourages interaction and fosters a sense of community. You’ll have the opportunity to strike up conversations with fellow diners, sharing your culinary experiences and discovering new flavours together. It’s the perfect setting to make new friends and create lasting memories.

Reviews and Customer Testimonials

The Barbary Next Door has garnered rave reviews from both critics and customers alike. The restaurant’s commitment to quality, authenticity, and exceptional service has earned it a reputation as one of the best culinary destinations in Covent Garden.

Customers praise the flavourful and well-executed dishes, highlighting the freshness of ingredients and the attention to detail in every bite. The friendly and knowledgeable staff receive accolades for their warm hospitality and willingness to guide guests through the menu, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

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A selection of The Barbary Next Door’s small plates ||| Credit: Georgia Rudd

Tips for Visiting The Barbary Next Door

To make the most of your visit to The Barbary Next Door, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make a reservation: The restaurant can get busy, especially during peak hours. To avoid disappointment, it’s recommended to make a reservation in advance.
  • Try the chef’s specials: The menu at The Barbary Next Door is constantly evolving, with the chefs introducing new and exciting dishes regularly. Don’t hesitate to ask the staff about any specials or recommendations.
  • Explore the cocktail menu: The Barbary Next Door also offers an impressive selection of cocktails inspired by the flavours of the Barbary Coast. From refreshing mint-infused concoctions to exotic spice-infused blends, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Other Dining Options in Covent Garden

While The Barbary Next Door is undoubtedly a culinary gem, Covent Garden offers a plethora of dining options to suit every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, Asian fusion, or classic British fare, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants and eateries within walking distance.

From high-end fine dining establishments to cosy cafes and trendy street food markets, Covent Garden has something to satisfy every craving. Take the time to explore the vibrant streets and discover the hidden culinary treasures that await you.

Conclusion: Why The Barbary Next Door is a Culinary Journey Worth Exploring

The Barbary Next Door in Covent Garden is not just a restaurant; it’s a culinary journey that takes you on a flavourful adventure through the streets of the Barbary Coast. From the vibrant ambiance to the impeccable service and, most importantly, the mouth-watering dishes, every aspect of the dining experience at The Barbary Next Door is designed to transport you to a world of exotic flavours and cultures.

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