Eyal Jagermann

“So you thought you loved the Palomar. You thought you’d be faithful and true. But that was before you met little sis, the Barbary.” So said Time Out London about tiny Middle Eastern eatery here guests squeeze into a bar and lay into a spread of meze plates, dips, skewers and warm bread inspired by Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s spirited: just like all the London eating recommendations from The Barbary’s young, go-getter chef, Eyal Jagermann.

thebarbary.co.uk
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Chinatown’s Best Dumplings

Everybody has their favourite restaurant in Soho’s Chinatown, but I’ve been to all of them – I’ve done the research, so you can take it from me – the one that stands out is a little place called Dumpling’s Legend. It’s not named the legend for nothing; the dumplings are super fresh and delicious. The prawn and chive, or pork dumplings are really good, the wontons are great, but it’s really all about their soup dumplings. Their stir-fries are great too, and there’s a cucumber salad with garlic, chili and coriander that I love. They’re open quite late so after a few pints I might head there for a bit of dumpling action. 

Really Good Sushi And Prawn Tempura

I find myself going a lot to a little place called Eat Tokyo. There are times I’ll be there twice in one week – it’s so good, it’s so delicious, and it’s inexpensive. It’s a really fun, light atmosphere. They have really, really good sushi, and in my opinion, London’s best prawn tempura. You can find me there, alone, eating two dishes of prawn tempura; it’s just that good. There’s an Eats Tokyo close by me in Soho, but they also have a few across London.

Classic British Dishes, New-Age Wines

Brawn a really good example of a really cool, young neighbourhood restaurant that’s good for lunch or dinner. Two British guys cooking quite simply, but quite elegantly. They make their own bread and do all sorts of classic British dishes, but with their own twist, and again, it’s quite simple and very high quality. They have a really good wine list which changes all the time; it’s definitely a place where you can try cool, funky, new-age wines from all over the world. The room is lovely, and the place just has this really cool, local atmosphere.

A Late-Night, BYO, Pakistani Grill House

Tayyabs is an amazing, massive Pakistani grill house in White Chapel. They have so many styles of curries and breads, stuff on the grill – like lamb chops, mutton and shish kebab – all of those amazing things, and it’s ridiculously cheap. Go wild. Eat as much as you want, and it won’t be more than £20 per head. It’s amazing, and it’s BYO. It’s always packed and super popular with chefs. I think it runs quite late too, so you could definitely go after a long night of drinking.

“The Cornerstone Of London’s Restaurant Scene”

When industry of food-loving friends come to visit in London, it’s always St. John. Because it’s such a special restaurant, and it’s such local pride. It’s an institution. And a place like this really only exists in London; that kind of food and that style of eating. It’s the cornerstone of London’s restaurant scene, a base for so many things that came after it – not only with food, but with design too. So many restaurants that we have here in London today just wouldn’t exist without St. John.

The Perfect London Lunch

If I feel like celebrating, The River Café is my favourite choice, if not my favourite restaurant in London. On a sunny day, to have lunch there, it’s like heaven. I absolutely love and respect what they do. I have a really good relationship with them, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from The River Café. It’s just the perfect restaurant, especially on a beautiful day.

Special Occasion Dining

If I want to go all out – you know, if it’s my parents’ birthday or if it’s a really special occasion, a restaurant I really like going to is Le Petit Maison over in Mayfair. The atmosphere in that room; it just feels like the perfect place to be. Every time you get brilliant service, the food is consistent, elegant and top-notch. If I want an extravagant meal, I won’t go to a Michelin three-star or whatever: I’ll go to Le Petit Maison and have as much food as I can possibly get.

Where All Of The Industry Hangs Out

Chef Tomos Parry is absolutely killing it at Brat. I still remember the first time I ate there. I left saying to my girlfriend, “Shit, I really need to step it up. This is next level.” I mean, this is really good, proper food in a really cool atmosphere; it’s absolutely brilliant. I think it’s one of the best concepts and executions that London has seen in the last few years: the approach, the simplicity, obviously the cooking, and the fact that it’s all British. Brat really shows you what British food can be. Nowadays, people want to eat well-sourced ingredients cooked simply; you know, keep it tight, keep it elegant, keep it clear – in terms of the presentation, the flavours as well as the message. He’s really nailed it completely. Every time I go there, I recognise at least two or three people. It’s really where you find all of London’s chefs and restaurateurs hanging out. Everyone loves Brat.

The Frontier Of London’s Wine Bar Scene

Noble Rot is really at the frontier of the wine bar scene in London, if not the world. It’s in a brilliant location, and it’s a super cool and elegant place, but very approachable. The guys who opened it are really passionate about wine, and really passionate about bringing culture and products from all over the world. They actually make their own magazine about wine and wine culture. These places don’t exist unless you really have the passion and love for what you do. And it shows there in every aspect.

A Mediterranean And Middle Eastern Game-Changer

I’m saying this very humbly, but I think the restaurant group of The Barbary contributed to a big shift in how people see Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking here in London. Obviously Ottenlenghi was the guy who really introduced that world to the UK, but I feel like The Palomar took it to the next level. The innovation, the creativity and also the atmosphere – it all comes from Jerusalem. I joined The Palomar three weeks after it opened, and I remember the exact moment that I looked around and realised, “Wow, this is actually quite special.” I could see people’s faces, and I could see that they hadn’t experienced anything like this before. I was very fortunate to be there and to have had that journey with them.

The Taiwanese Steamed Bun Meets London

I really like and respect what Bao are doing, which is taking that whole concept of the Taiwanese steamed bun and elevating it to a level that is beautifully done, but also very London – very chic and very elegant. It’s great, it’s delicious, it’s not expensive, and it’s just fun.

“Take Your Bagel, Get Lost, We Don’t Have Time”

Beigel Bake is open 24 hours, so I find myself there quite a lot during hours that I should probably be in bed. It’s everything you want after a few pints; right there in between those two perfect buns with that ridiculously spicy mustard. It’s so, so good. And the cranky women behind the counter – “Take your bagel, get lost, we don’t have time” – I love it.

How We Eat In Israel

The Barbary started from a desire to bring the eating culture that we have in Israel to London. Similar to a Turkish restaurant, it’s the style of eating where the minute you sit down, you’re hit with 12 meze plates and dips, and wonderful fresh bread; hot, straight from the oven and drizzled with olive oil. You get stuff from the charcoal grill, skewers of chicken and meat, and you eat everything together; you can play around with the flavours and textures. For me it’s just the most amazing way of eating, and something I was brought up on, so I’m really passionate about that sort of ethos.

Guide last updated August 2019

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