Arabica Bar & Kitchen - 3 Rochester Walk

Middle Eastern Restaurant, Bar, Bars and Pubs



Borough Market, 3 Rochester Walk, London SE1 9AF

+44 20 3011 5151




Based on 143 reviews.


Agregated reviews (143) Arabica Bar & Kitchen - 3 Rochester Walk

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ALLERGY ISSUES? BEWARE! As soon as our waiter gave us the menu I told him I have Coeliac disease and categorically cannot eat gluten. Disappointingly the allergy advice was not printed on the menu (seems the obvious solution for all parties involved) so he listed what I could and could not eat. However, his grasp of what contained gluten seemed iffy (he asked if I could eat rice). I was worried, but as it was a family meal and everyone was starving I didn't kick up a fuss. The main I ordered, which he explicitly said I could eat arrived and clearly contained Israeli cous-cous (wheat). I had to send it back and re-order. I was left waiting to eat for over 15 mins whilst my family were eating their food and it was only my asking when I would get some food that prompted him to check with the kitchen and it arrived another 10 mins later. I understand that kitchens/restaurants which handle gluten can only do so much to avoid cross-contamination etc etc and am not one to expect extra special attention; I hate having to be fussy having only recently diagnosed, but really, is it so hard to print the allergens on the menu? Especially as here it is such an extensive list of dishes, how is the server supposed to remember it all? I ate the rest of the food but was very anxious that I could be eating gluten in a less obvious form and that marred the meal for all of us/we felt unable to relax. Basically the choice is eat and put your trust in the restaurant and hope not to be severely unwell or don't eat whilst everyone else does. I wish restaurants would understand the anxiety and seriousness of the issue. I will not go back here despite having enjoyed the food on several occasions prior to having to go GF.

1 by Review source

we had a terrible service experience.Our first server was very nice. But we had someone different when it came to paying. I had some fraud on my card -although at the time i did not know- and could only pay 3 pounds on the bill (total was 23) and my friend had only a 20 pound note. As I was trying to check my online banking to transfer money to pay the waiter came over and repeatedly said come on we want to go. We want to go home. (a couple of other diners were still there) After that i tried to explain something had happened to my card and we couldn't cover the service charge. immediately he said - so what was wrong with the service? or are you saying that something was wrong with the service? i tried to say nothing.. its just my card. but he slammed something down on the table really hard and said 3 times thank you, thank you..thank YOU almost shouting. He was pushing us out. After we left he was gesturing at us from the window as we walked away. He was trying to get other staff involved.
It was really horrible. I complained to them and got no response.

1 by Review source

Nice ambience, décor and location. The vibe is very similar to what you'd get in Soho and some parts of Shoreditch. This place takes bookings which is great! I am over waiting in line for at least an hour and a half to get a table anywhere in central London these days. The quality of the food ranged from good to great. The menu itself is varied and I enjoy the small plates sharing concept. The Middle Eastern dishes had great flavour and I enjoyed those. Some of the dishes however, were ordinary and not inventive such as chicken wings or roast potatoes. Being a Middle Eastern place I thought there would be Middle Eastern flavours but there weren't. I would call this place fushon at best. Not a place you go to for authentic Middle Eastern food, but a great place for a date or for people dipping their toes into Middle Eastern flavours. There's enough on the menu for both the adventurous and the non adventurous.

4 by Van Pham Review source

Although I thought the food was pretty good, the whole experience was underwhelming. Our first server was very nice but he finished his shift soon after we arrived. No one then came to take our order and when, after some time, we asked if we could get some food we received a rather hostile reception. Once we had finished our meal the table was cleared up around us and it was clear the staff wanted us to leave. There seemed to be no option to have dessert. By 23:05 (this was a Saturday night) we were being virtually hustled off the table. We paid and waited a few minutes for our cab during which time another server arrived and said 'we want to close'. She thought we hadn't yet paid. It would have been an idea to check before hassling us. Overall the food just wasn't good enough to make up for, at best, indifferent service.

3 by Natalie Watts Review source

I don't know where to start... this restaurant is a shame!
First of all, food could have been made much much better.. the portions are very very small and I even thought that they send a tester before the main dish!! And the price! omg! 1 koubeh: 3£, 50g of moutabel for 5.50£, 8 cubes of shish: 11£ !! when I spoke to the manger he said ... all our products are organic! well, if you wanna make something organic make it well then! what is the point of having under-cooked free range chicken?? and being organic doesn't justify your prices at all!! I swear to god that me and my other two friends went and eat pizza after we paid 62£ at this restaurant!! I felt that I have been scammed!

1 by G obeid Review source

Awesome Food Awful Service

I booked based on reviews and the food did not disappoint. But service was just awful. We were given tables that were not leveled, and was a challenge to eat peacefully. The person who waited on us behaved as if he was being punished... we ordered for a few starters and few which we wanted as second course... all the dishes were slapped on our table and the waiter was educating me on meze when asked why the food was dumped all at once. What could have been a good evening was ruined by lousy and reckless service. And adding salt to the wound, a service charge of 12.5% was automatically loaded onto the bill!! - cheek.

2 by Review source

Average food and below average service.
We were a party of five, and ordered about 15 small dishes between us for lunch. There was plenty of food but nothing exquisite. The menu claims to have elements of food from different Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, Turkey and Armenia, but it looks better than what it is.
Service was poor, with waiters ignoring our calls several times and no sign of friendliness or smile!
Location of this restaurant is good, in the heart of Borough Market, great for people-watching, and they have a few tables outside too.
I hope they improve their service and put a bit more effort in their food.

3 by Sarah H Review source

My first ever negative review.
i went to visit the restaurant on a set menu for a celebration with a very large table of 12 who spent a considerable amount whilst there. I arrived and realised that the majority of the menu contains nuts, of which I severely allergic to - I am an epipen carrier. I was unable to eat a single dish and was charged £25 for the privilege. I have left more than one message with staff at the restaurant to request a refund and no-one had responded as they need to 'speak with their manager'. I have never encountered such bad customer service.

1 by Eve Bottomley Review source

My husband and I had a good time and Arabica Bar and Kitchen. We didn't have a reservation and they were still able to find us a seat. The wait staff was helpful and very friendly. We didn't really realise it was a Tapas style restaurant until we got there. However we enjoyed sharing the different foods and trying out a few of the speciality drinks. The Brad was a little dry and we had asked for the check after we had waited quite awhile. All in all it was a fun place to visit and eat Middle Eastern food while we visited in London.

4 by Susan Pratt Review source

This place is incredible. Amazing food, the drinks are something else, but the staff are really so ace. Every time I have been they are friendly, fun and accommodating. Last night, on a packed and busy Christmas night, we messed them around with a table size getting bigger and smaller and then bigger again. They laughed, smiled and told us not to worry and just enjoy the food. Everyone was funny and kind. If you can't get a table, sit at the bar, its almost better to be honest. ACE!

5 by Power Sherlock Review source

It's basically Lebanese tapas. The preserved aubergines are amazing. For the non-veggies, I recommend the calamari. The king prawns needed more seasoning apparently. Leave room for dessert and go for all of the ones you have never heard of including the ice-cream with the cheese dessert. More importantly, go in a group so u can try heaps of the dishes. Extensive wine and cocktail menu too. Been there for lunch and for drinks! Wanna go back with a bigger group!

4 by Angela Lau Review source

I've been here three times in total. The last time was quite disappointing. The menu has changed and is not as interesting or tasty. I had to send my octopus back because it was so inedibly salty. When they brought me a new one it was just burnt and bitter. They then asked us to leave as the table was needed for another group just as we were about to order dessert and coffee. So for three people we spent about £150 only to be kicked out before we could order dessert!

3 by Review source

I am surprised this place has such a high rating. I am guessing this is because of high tourist foot traffic in the area - TOURISTS BEWARE, there are much better places to eat at in this awesome area. Cocktails were passable, possibly could have been pre mixed. Hummus with lamb was tasty but the cods roe was flavourless and bland. Service poor and waited far too long to order a second drink which was an and overpriced and bad glass of wine. Spend your money elsewhere.

2 by Olivia Clark Review source

Great little place with an interesting menu. I tried the fry up and was pleasantly surprised by the flavours, strange way of displaying the food still in the pan but I guess it kept the food hotter for longer. Their green tea was also really good, much better in the morning compared to their coffee which was like drinking the last coffee from a cafetiere if you know what I mean... it was probably too authentic for me in the morning. Everything else was spot on!

4 by Daryl Bultitude Review source

The more exotic sounding / feeling the better is the advice here.

Order the wine from somewhere you've never been, and ask the waiter/resses to order their favourite 3 dishes (per person if you're in the mood) without reading the menu.

The food will be great and the wine likewise.

Enjoy the lively atmosphere, open kitchen (if you get a spot at the bar), and interesting people while you gorge.

5 by Steve Thompson Review source

One of the best casual Middle Eastern places I've eaten at recently. Portions were a decent size, and we enjoyed each plate. Started with gin cocktails - there was an excellent choice and Fevertree tonics. The fat halloumi slabs were perfectly grilled, and we had a fragrant dish with sticky rice and cauliflower which was unusual. Will definitely return next time I'm in the market.

4 by Jill Emeny Review source

Some really gr8 dishes such as lamb belly, Hallomi, chicken wings.. but to be honest more not so great dishes such as chicken shish (plain and dry), kibeh (no flavour and was cold when served).. really wanted to like this place because the service was nice and it has a good interior. But the food just wasn't up to scratch and it's quite expensive for what it is.

2 by Mya Review source

The vegetarian food was ok. I was not overwhelmed by the choice available. I thought the batata hara may have had too much salt. I liked the hummus. I think there are much better places with similar food selections on Edgware road with much lower prices. We spent around 30 each just for food. We shared a cheese dessert. It was good and something new but too sweet for me!

3 by Kishan Patel Review source

An average Lebanese food. Dips and bread were just okay. Not sure what did they put into tabbouleh, as I tasted a bit of cinnamon and it was not very fresh and was dry.
Pretty small portions so we had to keep ordering food.
We had to ask waitress to come and serve us as we were sitting outside.
The interior was nice and cozy.

2 by Violeta Volkute Review source

Unique and very different to the standard spices and cuts you tend to get with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern food, with an enormously varied range of flavours and dishes.

Unfortunately the wine wasn't quite as good - too sweet for my liking even when we asked for something more dry. Perhaps stick to beer with your meal.

4 by Nakul Khanna Review source

The menu is a delightful variety of East Mediterranean dishes that practically dance across the palate. The cocktail menu is full of inventive variations on classic drinks prepared with quality ingredients, clearly the work of passionate mixologists. The staff are pleasant, helpful and friendly. Can't wait to go back. Recommended.

5 by Sonny Williamson Review source

I think this place is amazing. Great for people to try different dishes and share since all the plates are small and reasonably priced. Always had great service, they helped with my dads Gluten intolerance, would recommend to anyone. Suggestions:
- Whipped Feta
- Mushroom Man'ousheh
- Lamb Kofta

5 by Review source

I had such a wonderful time here. The staff are so lovely and friendly. The food is exceptional, I highly recommend the courgette and feta fritters. Really great atmosphere and cool interiors. Thank you for a great evening.
Although I work and live in the west end,
I will definitely be returning!

5 by Amelia Mackichan Review source

The food, service and atmosphere are really good. The only problem is that is a bit overpriced, especially the skewers, which were around £11 for a small plate with two small skewers. The bill for two people came for £55 (2 small plates with meat, 1 salad, 1 small Turkish pizza, 2 lemonades and 1 dessert)

4 by Alejandro V. Review source

Very nice food! The 'pizza' with truffle oil was amazing ! Nice decor and good service.
We sadly sat at a table near the door so got constantly pushed in my chair which sadly ruined part of the experience. I guess this is what happens when you want to cram too many tables together

3 by Michel Tardy Review source

Food was ok but small portions for that price. Service was extremely poor. Staff were not polite, forgot to bring cutlery, took a long time to take orders and then accused us for not paying enough when leaving and had to show them all of our card receipts again. Very poor.

1 by Simon Bluhm Review source

Nice place for dinner around Borough Market. Was blown away by the lamb kofta! Restaurant was quite busy for 9:00PM on a Thursday. The staff was a bit disorganized though; had three different servers come up to us asking the same questions. Otherwise lovely place.

3 by Sasha Grigorik Review source

A very nice place to have dinner. Great atmosphere, food and service. Highly recommend to try their dips and charcoal lamb chops. Devine! Definitely get 3-4 plates per person and share around the table. Great place. I will be back for more!

5 by Annija Veisbarde Review source

One average chicken skewer was 11 pounds, extremely underwhelming experience. Especially since you can barely eat a whole meal in most Arab restaurants, felt like they are trying to price based on location, not food quality.

2 by Review source

Very tasty food, prompt and friendly staff. The hummus was one of the better ones I've had, although they are a bit skimpy on the pita bread (and it's not the greatest). Chicken and pistachio shish also very nice.

4 by Bryan Carroll Review source

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