Founded my Marc Summers, a former general manager at Middle East and north African grill house Berber & Q, the 30-cover restaurant will open on Spitalfields’ Commercial Street later this summer or early autumn.
The kitchen will be led by head chef Helen Graham, who has worked at London restaurants including The Palomar, The Barbary and The Good Egg, with Summers running front of house. Dishes are set to include fried aubergine with zhug and date syrup; confit potato latkes; and cabbage braised in pomegranate with zaatar chimichurri, alongside a selection of Lebanese and Middle Eastern wines, including wines on tap, and a short list of cocktails.
Bubala is named after a Yiddish term of endearment that roughly translates as ‘sweetheart’, and is often used by grandparents, paying homage to Summers’ background. The Commercial Street site is metres away from the location of the house Summers’ grandfather grew up in, while Graham’s grandmother once lived in nearby Brick Lane.
“We are so excited to have finally found the perfect home for Bubala,” says Summers. “I feel like there is such appetite for Middle Eastern food in London; the flavour combinations and gentle spicing techniques are perfect to showcase vegetables and vegetarian cooking, and the sharing menu will be a great way for friends and family to come together over food, which is exactly the kind of place we want to be.”
Bubala has previously undertaken a number of pop ups in the capital, including at Berber & Q in Haggerston, Carousel in Marylebone and at Dalston bar Untitled.