Peckish in the City? Lunchtime is sorted at Barraka on Artillery Lane
I have discovered a hidden gem in Spitalfields called Barraka and this is my review. Uri Dinay, founder of Barraka, knows a good thing when he sees it. Enamoured with his grandpa’s amazing falafels back home in Israel, he had the genius idea to spread the falafel love to London with Pilpel (chilli pepper in Israeli, which was the nickname grandpa gave his grandson Uri as a kid).
Barraka is the latest instalment in Uri’s story: Barraka means ‘blessing’ and it’s an oasis of calming colours and fresh food for hungry office workers and trendy Spitalfields punters.
Barraka opened in Artillery Lane near Spitalfields and Liverpool Street, at the start of 2016 and in only a few months it has become very popular with people working in the area.
Who needs overpriced limp salads and tasteless packaged sandwiches when you can order fresh food cooked in front of you?
When you’re in a rush to get back to your desk a streamlined menu helps with your decision-making: with 5 options to choose from (1 vegetarian) you can make up your mind quickly.
Meat options are chicken (either marinated and grilled or chicken schnitzel), beef and chorizo. The vegetarian option is halloumi cheese. All dishes come with a selection of salad and a “vessel” of your choice: baguette, wrap or salad bowl.
Prices are very reasonable so even tourists will appreciate that.
I was kindly invited to lunch at Barraka and I ordered a salad bowl with chicken two ways: half chicken schnitzel and half grilled chicken. The portion was really generous and bursting with crunchy and colourful vegetables topped with sauces (I went for chilli mayo, chimichurri and tahini).
All the sauces, hummus, baguettes and wraps are made in-house (there’s a central kitchen baking everything from scratch).
I was told the sesame for their Tahini sauce comes from Ethiopia – and there’s more sesame in the panko breadcrumb coating for the schnitzel. Schnitzel, by the way, is a very popular dish in Israel, just like falafels.
I enjoyed digging into my salad bowl – the marinated chicken was gently spiced with cumin and chilli (plus a blend of secret spices!) and the chicken schnitzel was super crunchy outside and succulent inside.
First timers to Barraka are greeted with loud cheers and a sonorous “gong”. Now that’s a warm welcome!
Please note that lunchtime gets very busy and you might expect long queues so plan your next lunch break accordingly. If you’re having a late lunch you can take your seat and take your time while you soak up the friendly atmosphere.
Barraka, 7 Artillery Lane, London E1
Get 25% Off at Barraka
Thanks to Whichit, partnering with Barraka, you can enjoy 25% off Barraka’s food by voting for your favourite dish (as they say we eat with our eyes first so which dish makes your taste buds going?).
Picture credits: Paola Bassanese and Barraka