Babylon Restaurant and Shisha Bar has recently taken up residence on the corner of Albert Street, in the premises formerly occupied by Assam’s.
I was in the neighbourhood, as I was rather super-efficiently booking my work Xmas lunch, in a nearby place, so took the opportunity to stop at Babylon before heading back up the road.
With ample seating downstairs, the upstairs section is relatively small, but neatly appointed, with bare stone walls covered in traditional wall hangings and detailing.
I was lunching at the rather late hour of 2:30pm, so had the room to myself. The friendly waiter brought a menu and some water, then left me to consider things.
Their a la carte is available at all times, and between 12 and 3 (Monday to Thursday) they have a set menu of two courses for £7.95 and 3 for £9.95. That sounded good to me, so I was happy to start with baba ghanoush, then follow with a stew of soujuk, a Middle Eastern spiced sausage.
My starter arrived promptly, with a pipingly fresh flat bread, to accompany it. The bread was excellent and the baba ghanoush was rather tasty, too.
The main course was also accompanied by fresh bread, much is the same style as at Nawroz. The soujuk stew was a generous portion, and with rice accompanying it, too, it was a considerable feast.
The stew was very tasty. I’m a great soujuk fan, having come across it on frequent visits to Istanbul. There it’s served in many different contexts, with one of my favourites as a breakfast dish with eggs. This warmly spiced stew was lovely and filling, and the bread proved very handy in mopping up the beautifully oily sauce.
So overall, I was served two really good dishes at Babylon. Even though it’s on the main road, it’s a slightly betwixt and between location, so it has a task to get itself known. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t happen, though, as the quality on offer is high. I’d be happy to recommend you pay it a visit, soon.
Blythe scores Babylon
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: baba ghanoush; soujuk
I drank: water
I wore: tweed
Total bill: £7.95