Villa Mama’s, Chelsea

This is the first opening in the UK for chef and restaurateur Roaya Saleh who already has a Villa Mama’s out in Bahrain. We visited her new one based just a few doors down from Phil Howard’s Elystan Street in Chelsea. There’s a Middle Eastern vibe about the place with rugs hanging on the stone washed walls and the clientele on our visit are equally … Continue reading Villa Mama’s, Chelsea

The Barbary, Covent Garden

Based in Neal’s Yard, The Barbary is the sister restaurant to the popular Palomar. Now, on paper, The Barbary isn’t an easy one to like. There’s just counter seating around a super hot kitchen which stinks of smoke. They don’t take reservations. Once the queue gets beyond the front door you can no longer wait and while you do wait, it’s insanely cramped. That being … Continue reading The Barbary, Covent Garden

Babaji, Shaftesbury Avenue

Isn’t Alan Yau a busy chap? He’s about to open Park Chinois in Mayfair, he’s got Duck&Rice in Soho doing a roaring trade and now, after a long closure due to an electrical fire, Babaji has reopened. It’s a Turkish restaurant specialising in pide, a boat shaped Turkish pizza. We were seated downstairs by the open kitchen with views from the large windows down Shaftesbury Avenue – … Continue reading Babaji, Shaftesbury Avenue

Ottolenghi, Spitalfields

It’s taken me a while to get to Ottolenghi (there’s also one in Notting Hill and Islington) even though I’ve always heard good things. It’s one of those restaurants that sits quietly in the background without making a song or dance of things, yet is always packed. Walking into their Spitalfields outpost, we were first greeted with a melange (I can use big words too) … Continue reading Ottolenghi, Spitalfields

Arabica Bar and Kitchen, Borough Market

Arabica Bar and Kitchen is a restaurant which specialises in food from the Middle East (if you’re into that sort of thing you must try The Palomar by the way) and it’s based right in the heart of Borough Market. The dining room sits under a huge railway arch making the space a rather charming one. The atmosphere matched that of the market; bustling and … Continue reading Arabica Bar and Kitchen, Borough Market

The Palomar, Soho

Based on Rupert Street in Soho, The Palomar is a restaurant that specialises in ‘the food of modern day Jerusalem’. Even though it’s only just opened, I don’t know anybody that hasn’t loved it so I went with high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed – hoorah! As they don’t take reservations at the long counter which overlooks the kitchen, on our busy Friday night visit … Continue reading The Palomar, Soho

Honey and Co.

Honey and Co. is a restaurant near Great Portland Street which specialises in food from the Middle East. Husband and wife team, who are both based in the kitchen, run the place and as it’s proving to be rather popular, I was looking forward to our Saturday lunch. As we walked down a quiet, sleepy street we nearly walked past the place as it wasn’t … Continue reading Honey and Co.