To celebrate our 4 years together we finally got ourselves booked in to try BABA, the Levantine Mezze, Charcoal Grill and Cocktail Bar from the team behind Ox and Finch in Glasgow. We were already booked in to stay at The Principal on Charlotte Square so BABA was really a no-brainer, especially as we had been meaning to try it since they opened!
In true tapas fashion the dishes came out as and when they were ready so everything was super fresh. First out of the kitchen were our ‘snacks’…
haggis and harissa kibbeh
This dish is probably best described as a middle eastern haggis bonbon, but make no mistake this was the best bonbon I’ve ever had and completely unique in flavour.
beetroot hummus, whipped feta and hazelnut dukkah
muhammara, aleppo chilli and chopped walnuts
Next up our dishes ordered from the Mezze section of the Menu arrived alongside homemade pittas to dip. Each of these were beautifully flavoursome and unique, but our favourite had to be the beetroot hummus with whipped feta. We were warned about the spice levels of the muhammara with its chilli flakes on top, but we both actually really enjoyed it and didn’t find it too much at all.
slow-cooked pork belly, charcoal-baked celeriac and golden raisins
lamb shoulder, ptitim, preserved lemon and tahini yoghurt
baharat beef kofta, butternut, yoghurt and aleppo chilli
baba ganoush, pomegranate and mint
The stars of the show were served up from the grill next. We were pleased to see that each meat had not only been cooked to charcoal perfection but were served with sauces, yoghurts and vegetables that complimented them so well. The pork belly was most memorable for us; you could cut the through the meat with a spoon it was so tender and the tiny golden raisins were a lovely surprise. This was followed closely by the lamb shoulder that was equally as melt-in-the-mouth, and paired really well with the preserved lemon and tahini yoghurt.
The only dish that we struggled to finish was the baba ganoush from the mezze section of the menu. It came with pomegranate and mint which was nice but unfortunately we found it very smoky and neither of were very keen on this.
rose and hibiscus spritz
ice cream sundae
For dessert, we went with BABA’s own ice cream sundae with a selection of coffee, vanilla and pistachio ice creams as well as nougat, sesame cracker and mint. It was a really nice way to finish the meal as well as cool down slightly in the heat.
Food – 9/10
Atmosphere – 10/10
Service – 9/10
Value – 9/10
Overall our experience at BABA was thoroughly enjoyable and for the most part, we loved the whole relaxed vibe they had going on. The only part about the service we marked them down for was for when, in our opinion, the service got a little too relaxed and we were left waiting for plates to be cleared/drinks to be ordered for quite a long time. We found the food full of interesting flavours and thought it all came out super quick too, and we liked the fact we were left to enjoy it at our own pace and weren’t being hurried out.
130 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JZ
Phone: 0131 527 4999