The Barbary was opened by the Jerusalem-based Machneyuda restaurant franchise in 2016, following up on the success of its first London eatery, The Palomar.
Machneyuda is headed by Israeli chefs Assaf Granit, Uri Navon and Yossi Elad. Machneyuda is the name of their popular (non-kosher) restaurant in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.
“The Barbary menu reflects the countries from the Atlantic Coast through to the Mediterranean Sea leading to Israel,” according to the restaurant’s website.
TimeOut recommends getting there by 5pm “on a rainy Tuesday” to get a seat for dinner.
“It’s not possible to have a bad time at The Barbary,” TimeOut wrote in its review of the restaurant last year. “Sure, you’ll probably have to queue, but even that’s tolerable, because then you get to feast on moreish deep-fried snacks (like the Moroccan cigars) that don’t appear on the main menu. … The food is labelled as ‘modern Israeli’, though in truth, it’s anything but. What they’ve done is taken the ancient recipes from across North Africa (from the one-time Barbary Coast) and the Middle East that have gone on to influence food in today’s Israeli kitchen, then reimagined them for 2016.”
Especially recommended, according to the write-up, are the tandoor-baked naan bread and the charred octopus.
Israeli-run café Honey and Co. was listed at #60: “The menu is full of homely Middle Eastern dishes alive with colour and texture – think peach and goats’ cheese salad with roasted almonds and orange-blossom dressing, or spiced lamb siniya baked in tahini, wrapped in a pitta and topped with yoghurt and salad.”
Israeli celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s eponymous restaurant was listed at #95.