The extraterrestrial references are subtle and clever, never sinking into tacky obviousness. This is an interpretation of Burrough’s work and not an unimaginative replica. The fluid lines, emphasis on contrasting textures and sense of minimalism create an elegant, quiet space removed from the noisy clatter of the neighbouring HKV rabble. The layering of wood, leather and woven textile embellishments and the absence of bird cages demonstrate more depth and maturity in design than I’ve come to expect from HKV.
The menu is unique in that while it covers the usual bases, like Pastas, Salads and Soups, the dishes are all over the places geographically. The Lamb Goulash is nestled gently between the Fish and Chips and Barsoom Beef Steak and shares the same page as the Aubergine Parmigiana. It reads a little like a well travelled person’s list of favorite foods.
The Empanadas (with spinach filling) were a success, delicate leaves of spinach drowning in near molten cheese trapped in crispy fried shells and accompanied by fresh, zingy salsa. As was the perfectly crunchy Boba Feta (feta cheese and watermelon on a bed of arugula and black olives).
As Barsoom is run by the guys behind the laid back (now closed) Flipside Café it features Flipside’s trademark crepes. I tried the savoury Spinach and Cheese variation and while the crepe itself was perfect, soft without being doughy, fluffy without being too thick, the Spinach and Cheese filling was bland and underwhelming.
Fueled by nostalgia for picturesque autumn days spent in Prague a few years ago I ordered the Lamb Goulash with Cous Cous which also turned out to be a damp squib. The curry of the Goulash was think and too sparse to cover the slightly dry cous cous and nothing like the thick, hearty gravy I ate every day in Prague. The “award winning” Banana Chocolate Tart was the only dessert available and though it was good, I’m not sure the batch I got would have won any awards.
In terms of the bar menu, I enjoyed the Watermelon Martini but was surprised to find the much more commonplace Mojito was quite amateur.
All in all, you can try your luck. The space is intriguing and the food reasonably competent but there are some definite misses on the menu.
I turned up at Barsoom on a Monday afternoon when the place was completely empty. The staff seemed prompt and helpful but I realize the true test of their worth lies in their ability to handle busier circumstances.