Bubala, Soho

A review of another “Levantine” restaurant here and it’s no surprise.  Often labelled as the “Ottolenghi effect”, London’s love affair with Middle Eastern food has transformed our relationship with vegetables.  Boiling to eternity is thankfully out; (whole) roasting, charring and grilling has come to the forefront – not to mention dips, spices, tahini and all … Continue reading Bubala, Soho


We’ve come to define Middle Eastern – or Levantine – cooking in a generic way.  Encompassing a range of regions, the term overlooks the region’s diversity.  Franco-Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan proudly rejects this and is much more specific.  Describing the food at his renowned restaurant in Bethlehem – Fawda, Arabic for “chaos” – as “modern … Continue reading Akub


Affectionately translated as “Darling” in Hebrew (slang), Kapara is Bala Baya’s Tel-Aviv-inspired incarnation in Soho’s hidden and lovely James Court.  Led by ex-Ottolenghian chef Eran Tibi, Kapara is influenced by the hedonistic attitude of modern Tel-Aviv, with elements of LA / Ibiza / Miami added to the mix.  With its spacious layout, the restaurant’s “anything … Continue reading Kapara

Honey & Co Bloomsbury

When Honey & Co Warren Street announced it was closing, there was - understandably - much discontent from fans.  But fears remained at bay as plans were quickly put in place to reopen a new spot in Bloomsbury, on the lovely Lamb’s Conduit Street specifically.  Sitting directly opposite the marvellous Noble Rot – a name … Continue reading Honey & Co Bloomsbury


Capturing the souls of cities across the world (Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Singapore, Boston), cult-classic Miznon has landed on Soho’s buzzy Broadwick Street.  Founded by celebrity chef Eyal Shani and renowned for its fresh, vibrant Israeli bites – notably fluffy pitta – this smash-hit restaurant celebrates the flavours of the Mediterranean.  And it … Continue reading Miznon

The Barbary Next Door

From the talented team behind the acclaimed Barbary (part of the esteemed Palomar group) comes the The Barbary Next Door, which – as its name gives away – sits besides The Barbary in Covent Garden’s tucked away treasure Neal’s Yard.  Like it’s sister, The Barbary Next Door has proven to be a triumphant addition to … Continue reading The Barbary Next Door


A new-ish Levantine spot from the team behind Berber & Q comes Carmel in Queen’s Park, an unlikely neighbourhood somewhere in-between Maida Vale and Kilburn.  Tucked around the corner from Queen’s Park station, Lonsdale Road is one of those alluring, soulful little discoveries that London can somehow still keep under wraps: a wide cobbled mews, … Continue reading Carmel

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

The best restaurants have a story behind them and Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is all about the narrative.  And a gripping one it is.  Imad Alarnab was once (and continues to be!) a successful chef and restaurateur but in Damascus, where he ran three restaurants alongside cafés and juice bars.  All that was destroyed in just … Continue reading Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

Coal Office

A collaboration between designer Tom Dixon and chef/entrepreneur Assaf Granit, who in London co-owns (with siblings Zoë and Layo Paskin) The Palomar and one of my favourite haunts, The Barbary, Coal Office’s roots are of critical acclaim.  In Jerusalem, he’s behind the equally successful hotspots Machneyuda and Yudale.  Having visited the former (with some difficulty … Continue reading Coal Office

Brother Marcus

In performance of my Eat Out To Help Out civic duty back in August, my companion and I made it to Balham’s (Little) Brother Marcus.  Though a big name on the brunch scene, offering the hipster holy trinity of Caravan coffee, cocktails and avocado on toast, by night it serves Middle Eastern mezze: think kebab … Continue reading Brother Marcus