Barraka – Mediterranean Street Food. Review.
On Friday 15th July I was fortunate enough to be invited to sample the delights of Barraka, which can be found at 7 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LP, with a view to giving them honest feedback. That day has changed what lunch looks like for me in London.
Wow, I never knew such an assualt on your tastebuds was possible in such close proximity to Liverpool St Station, in London. Such a simple unassuming location as Barraka. It’s simple, quick hot and sexy street food really in the heart of Smithfields. This is not just any hot and happening street style food, this is hot and sexy Mediterranean food at it’s best.
The vibe as you enter is warm, bright, friendly and buzzing.. I was early for my meeting so I was able to enjoy my second favourite past time, people watching whilst sat with a drink. I watched people being urged to have a sample outside, then hooked, following their senses with a need for another hit, heading inside for the full works The tunes are buzzing, it’s a really cool urban atmosphere where the lunchtime work crowd of all professions flow in and out and on a few occasions back in simply to compliment them on how good the food had been.
I chuckled to myself, I thought really, who does that (goes back into a restaurant after buying the food to go to say how great it was) how good can it be, you need to get out more, but clearly it is me who needs to get out more to have only just discovered this place, the food wasn’t good, it was AMAZINGLY GOOD.
All of the food is prepared fresh, there is no pre-prepared, pre-cooked, half done and then pinged in a microwave food here. You see it all being prepared before you and to your specification.
What I love about this type of food it that is’s all about getting involved. From delegating how you want the wrap or salad prepared, what balance of the range of fresh food before you, that you so desire, sauces, chilli, etc, to watching your food, in my case, the t-bone steak being prepared on the grill in front of me.
But the real involvement comes in the eating, it’s all hands on, get stuck in, get involved and absolutely enjoy. As well a T-bone Steak wrap, I also sampled the Schnitzel by swapping half of my wrap with my lunch companion, which let me tell you is by far the best schnitzel dish I have ever had anywhere.
The family who operate this restaurant are no strangers to the restaurant industry and have been rolling out one success story after another with he same ethos of good clean well prepared fresh food no fuss, within close proximity you can find some of their other ventures. Barraka, is taking what works, and using that formula to take aspects of the Mediterranean food theme to a whole new level.
How it works:
The menu itself is a teaser, tantilising your taste buds in eager anticipation of what you read and al that you can see right before your eyes. You can choose a baguette, a Laffa wrap or a salad. Then fill with a choice of Mediterranean chicken, Chicken Schnitzel, Halloumi, Steak, or Chorizo. If you’re with someone else, all the better, great way to share half of each others food and sample even more of the delights on offer. For example I had half a t-bone steak wrap and half of my companions schnitzel wrap along with those fries, omg the fries! Sauce options are well thought, simple, complimentary of the awesome food, it’s not about fuss it’s all about flavour here, on offer currently the sauces are Baraka sauce, Tahini, chimichurri or chilli.
This food it the kind of food of urban legends, you know, the crazy, buzzy place with food just bursting with flavour that’s so good and such a reasonable price point it’s just crazy and the kind of knowledge that you pass along at parties and totally show your cool foodie credentials in having frequented such a food mecca.
As well as the absolute juicy t-bone steak, the gorgeous schnitzel, the vast array of luscious salad and sauces, well, let me take time to give a really special mention to what I can only assume are their secret weapon. My god the Fries. They’re not good, they’re damned good. You know, the kind of thing that would make you travel out of your way to get some, that kind of pull have these fries. They are well salted, seasoned and have chillies in the carton, oh just the right kick to tingle your tongue and so moorish you just cannot stop reaching for more. Try having a business meeting where you are trying to converse and not keep reaching for more…that’s not going to happen, this food I’ve already told you is about being involved and being tantalised and the whole package of just about everything I tasted delivered that experience.
This is a fantastic lunch venue, you will not be disappointed and I guarantee who ever you take with you will be thoroughly impressed. It epitomises everything London life is about, fast, buzzy, cool, friendly, hot and spicy food (and yes, you can use deliveroo). We’re over the “Let’s go to.. the same old chicken type shacks” just to try to get food with a remote hint of flavour. Forget that, the food revolution has moved on, lunchtimes are about the feel good factor now. But also consider it an after work option, grab something hot, sexy and delicious to eat on your way home. If you want comfort food which is also super fresh good quality produce, if you want a something warm and inviting with enough of a tingle to make you feel like you’ve truly experienced something great, the Mediterranean glow of heat and comfort spreading through your body, this is for you.
Try it. Go get your tantalising tingle.