Latest opening: Kapara

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Israeli chef Eran Tibi has opened Tel Aviv restaurant Kapara in Soho

Related tags Kapara Middle eastern cuisine Restaurant London Eran Tibi Bala Baya

The team behind Southwark-based Tel Aviv inspired restaurant Bala Baya has launched a naughty Soho sibling.

What:​ “Kapara is what happens when you give a bunch of crazy Israelis free reign (sic) over two floors in central Soho,” is how the restaurant describes itself. Promising a laid back vibe of Tel-Aviv-inspired food, Kapara is also “a hedonistic paradise of Israeli style eating and drinking... with a debaucherous soundtrack,” in case you were left in any doubt as to what to expect from this new 100-cover restaurant.

Who:​ One of the aforementioned crazy Israelis is chef Eran Tibi, an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu London and former chef at Ottolenghi and who is now owner of sister Tel Aviv restaurant Bala Baya in Southwark. Tibi, a self confessed food and music addict, sees himself as the ‘epitome of modern Israeli chefs’, one that ensures his restaurants are high tempo and full of energy.

The food:​ The menu at Kapara pays homage to Tibi’s roots but also reflect his personality, which can be gleaned not just by his choice of ingredients but also in the naming of his dishes. The menu begins with an ‘All Day Foreplay’ offer comprising the likes of pita chips served with shawarma, taramasalata, preserved lemon, and vine crisp; and Swiss rolls with freekeh, apricots, baharat, date, molasses, swiss chard, and pistachio, before leaning into plates that include ‘cheeky bums’ - chicken oysters skewer with butter chilli, purple lettuce and house pickle; black bream ceviche (main image); ox heart tartar, with celeriac fondant; and shawarma chicken offal, with hummus and caramelised onions. These dishes are followed by larger platters of whole red snapper cooked over coal with burnt sage, baby plum tomatoes, and fennel; squid ink and yolk pasta, with prawn bisque, saffron, and cod’s head fillets; and Yossi’s hotpot of sheep’s neck, masala, molokhia, carrot rice, and blue hen yolk. Desserts include the striking ‘Gramps Cigar’ made from brick pastry, with pistachio, rose, coco passion fruit curd, chocolate soil, and a smoked tuile (below). Dishes on the a la carte menu start at £3 for snacks with sharing plates topping out at £16 and platters ranging from £21 to £52, with a set menu also available for £64.


To drink:​ House gazoz is the drink of choice - an old school Israeli soda (the name is based on the French word gazeuse, ie carbonated) - that comes mixed with a selection of homemade infusions that include blackberry and lavender; lemon and rose; pineapple and chilli; and grapefruit and oregano. If you like your sodas hard they can be mixed with prosecco, vodka, gin and even arak. Other options include a selection of cocktail that include the dubiously named ‘The Glory Mole’ - tequila, hibiscus, cardamom, ginger, lime, soda - and ‘High 5 BI*CH!’ - a combo of spiced rum, oloroso sherry, pineapple, sesame, ginger, cayenne pepper, orange zest, and nori. Israeli wines feature among a small offer from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, the UK, and Argentina.

The vibe:​ With words such as ‘hedonistic’ and ‘debaucherous’ flying around you would expect something out of the ordinary and Tibi has tried not to disappoint. The venue comprises a 50-cover alfresco terrace, a lounge and bar area alongside the main ground floor restaurant with a raised stage for live music and performances, with design house Raven Collective opting for interiors that celebrate Tel Aviv’s eclecticism with sweeping curved booths, tiled flooring, foliage, brass fittings and a pink and deep red colour palette. Downstairs the basement - inspired by Tibi’s grandad’s ‘naughty corner’ as a child - is home to a secondary dining room and six-seater counter that can be turned into a private dining area complete with a personal ‘serve yourself’ bar,

And another thing:​ Kapara is the Hebrew word for atonement, but with a change of intonation it is also slang for ‘darling’, a word frequently used by taxi drivers as a show of affection.

James Court, Manette Street, London, W1D 4AL

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