Jul 22 2015

Arabica Bar and Kitchen


Arabica Bar and Kitchen is a restaurant that serves food from the Levant (Mediterranean countries – Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Armenia and Turkey) in Borough Market. The restaurant is modern and despite the food sometimes being quite similar to the food at your usual Maroush, it has a more casual and modern atmosphere. You can either sit inside or outside, where you can watch people eating their Borough Market food whilst slowly walking from stall to stall. Arabica Bar and Kitchen serves breakfast from 8.30 to 11.30, then takes a small break and restarts serving food from 12.00.

The menu was genionely very interesting, and was divided into nibbles, dips, fried dishes, clay oven dishes, charcoal dishes, salads, cold/raw/cured dishes, stove and grill dishes and vegetable/ rice/ pulse dishes. Dishes range from £4 to £13, and on average cost £7, and you need 2/3 dishes per person (more if you are having smaller dishes). I had to have the house pickles from the nibbles section which included cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, turnip, chillies, and were marinated just like Turks do their pickles, which has a very acidity and salty flavour, and is not my favourite way how to do pickles. But I was impressed how authentic Turkish they felt. I chose another Turkish dish – cacik – from the dips section which had Thick strained yogurt, cucumber, mint, dill, also very popular in Greece, but under a different name. it was good, with all the right flavour combinations. Another dip we wanted to have was the Lebanese hummus with Herdwick lamb fillet.  The dish was quite oily, but definitely tasty, and the Herdwick lamb fillet made a difference, as the lamb in hummus in other restaurants can be quite plain.

We skipped the cold/raw/cured section, which included didhses like Lebanese lamb tartare and Yellow fin tuna, which I did not feel were particularly authentic, and I was after some authentic Levant food. we also skipped the fried section. The clay oven section had various wonderful flat bread/ pizza style dishes from Turkish to Armenian ones, and the one we went for was the Armenian style lahmacun, Flatbread with spiced lamb, tomato, peppers, pine kernels.. I genuinely like these sort of flat bread dishes a lot, and always have them in Turkey, and whilst I liked the lahmacun, I don’t think it was quite spot on, but it was good. We chose halloumi cheese with Olive oil, lemon, mint from the stove/grill section and hanger steal with green zhoug and babaganoush from the charcoal section. Halloumi was good, there is virtually no difference in this dish among restaurant as they just grill halloumi and serve it, and the babaganoush (Half a charred aubergine, olive oil, lemon, parsley, mint, saffron yoghurt, pomegranate molasses, pinenuts) was delicioius, althoygh Ithought it had too much saffron yoghurt which overpowered the other amazing flavours a bit, but with it removed, the dish was lovely.

We skipped the vegetable/ rice/ pulse dishes and ordered summer fattoush salad from the salad section, which had Mixed leaves, radish, cumcumber, croutons, parsley, mint, za'tar, pomegranate vinaigrette. The fattoush was quite unusual. I always order this salad in Lebanese restauranrs and sort of know what to expect, but here it tasted differently, and it used slightly different ingredients, more salad leaves, including slightly bitter ones, larger croutons, I definitely liked the original take on the salad, but I do think the traditional one tastes better.

I definitely think the concept of Arabica Bar and Kitchen is interesting, as I don’t think there are many other restaurants in London that serve such a wide range (Levant) food.

Price for 2 people: 63
Date: 19/ 06/ 15
Location: London Bridge

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Maija rated: 



Arabica Bar and Kitchen
3 Rochester House Borough Market, SE1 9AF
United Kingdom
Arabica Bar and Kitchen Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5