Borough Market has welcomed yet another spectacular restaurant in the form of Arabica, once a Borough Market stall itself. Serving up food from the Levant with contemporary takes, Arabica brings a necessary cuisine to the area (done well, at least). An open plan space perfect for a lazy lunch.
Besides an excellent selection in food, Arabica offers a short cocktail list of classics with Near Eastern twists.
Let’s start off with a personal favourite: the Mujrim. A development on a Dry Manhattan, bourbon, dry vermouth and lemon meet pomegranate molasses. As you can imagine, the end product is much sweeter than a Dry Manhattan, but dry vermouth is necessary to not make the cocktail too sweet. The flavours are all distinct – with its spectacular simplicity, the Mujrim isn’t necessarily a dessert cocktail, but better to have without food so that it doesn’t drown out the pomegranate molasses.
The Sassine Square is a much more subtle flavour outside the intense high-rye bourbon and bitters – the date syrup is almost too quiet. Perhaps a bit more and here we have an excellent dessert drink.
The Nana Ti (Cuban and Jamaican rums, lemon, cacao, wild mint) is a supremely clean flavour to be paired with food. I notice the recipe for the Rayyan Gin Fizz since the soft launch: removing the rose water – a very good move since the rose water was overpowering. Now, Arak Brun, orange blossom water, orange and cardamom marmalade, citrus, and cream. Yes, it sounds complex, but is far lighter in person.
Arabica is certainly a new destination in the area, and its cocktails do not fail to disappoint! I just wish I knew what they intend to do with the bottle of QuiQuiRiQui mezcal that’s on their shelf.
Arabica Bar & Kitchen
3 Rochester Walk,
London SE1 9AF