For many South Africans living in London, that perfect taste of home can be somewhat elusive. Outside of a few get-togethers around friends’ houses, it is hard to find those authentic flavours. This is where bbar in Victoria comes to the rescue.
The chic little South African restaurant and cocktail bar is part of the Red Carnation group of properties, owned by prominent hotelier Beatrice Tollman. An expat South African herself, Mrs Tollman has more than 40 years of experience as an ambassador of South African flavours in London. bbar is a great place to go and relieve your homesickness and entertain a few friends, safe in the knowledge you are in expert hands.
Menus change seasonally at bbar, but some dishes have earned permanent places, like their famous Cape Malay Chicken Curry, which always delights diners with its bold flavours. Twists on classics such as the Bobotie Spring Rolls and Full African Breakfast, served with boerewors and Chakalaka, have kept bbar at the forefront of modern South African cuisine in London. If a burger is more your thing, then their African Burger is a standout of the burger menu. The wild boar and venison patty is highlighted with a cinnamon, marog and Chakalaka relish.
bbar’s Afternoon Tea is perennial favourite among expats and, unsurprisingly, it too has a South African accent. In place of finger sandwiches, bbar serves Mini Bunny Chow alongside rooibos and cakes. The Durban classic has been shrunk down to more elegant proportions and comes with a selection of different tempting fillings. The decor also fits the occasion, with the leather paneling and sumptuous hardwoods framing the South African inspired furnishings. Stepping through the door is like travelling 10,000 kilometres to our homeland.
bbar is an elegant venue to enjoy a few drinks and its well-stocked bar carries almost anything you could wish for. Award-winning vintages from Red Carnation’s South African vineyard, Bouchard Finlayson, top the wine list. The refreshing Sauvignon Blanc and smooth Pinot Noir are must-tries. bbar’s extensive cocktail list includes all of the classics, as well as some unique creations featuring Klipdrift brandy, Lovoka and Amarula. The bar snack menu has plenty of light bites to accompany your drinks from biltong to bbar’s creative Boerewors Scotch Egg.
Next time you are feeling the pangs of homesickness, or that hankering for a little taste of home, visit bbar and alleviate your suffering with some fellow expats in this little part of South Africa in London.