We’ve been big fans of Bubala ever since it opened in Spitalfields in 2019 so we were very excited to hear that founder Marc Summers had a second site on the way. Open in Soho on the site where Vasco & Piero used to be, the new 50-cover Bubala has the same vibe interiors-wise, with plaster walls, light wood, natural tones, plants dotted about the place, and counter seating at the (bigger) bar, and it follows the same formula of serving up excellent veggie Middle Eastern food.

Executive Chef Helen Graham has kept many of the hit dishes from the Spitalfields restaurant but added some newbies that make use of the restaurant’s yakitori grill. There’s an Asian influence in the new dishes, like the moreish skewers of of Chinese cabbage, preserved lime & cardamom and charred oyster mushroom with tamari, agave & coriander seed, the smacked cucumbers with tahini and chilli crunch, and the mango and tamarind in with the Vesuvio tomatoes.

These additions have only made Bubala better. Every single plate was a hit, with the kitchen laying down flavour upon flavour upon flavour with every dish. Creamy labneh is adorned with fat sweet cloves of confit garlic; the hummus surrounds a puddle of burnt butter; corn ribs are slathered in pipelchuma, a spiced garlicky paste made here using black garlic; and roasted cauliflower is punched up with bkelia, a intense condiment made from cooking down spinach for hours. Arguably the two Bubala signatures, the halloumi (here with chamomile & fennel honey) and confit potato latkes, are just as good as ever.

The cocktails, especially the spicy marg and peach & Aperol sour, also slap (there are gazoz sodas, homemade seltzer mixed with fruits, flowers, herbs & syrups for those off the sauce), the service is excellent, and with the Bubala Knows Best set menu available for £39 per person, it’s great value too. It’s official, Bubala’s big sis is a big hit.

15 Poland Street, London, W1F 8PR