27 Litchfield Street
London WC2H 9NJ, United Kingdom

I must admit that my fascination with travel has always been colored by my love for food. You often encounter alien flavors and exotic aromas, but every once in a while you come across a place that sears a completely foreign experience into your consciousness. For me this place is the Souk Bazaar in London, England. I happened upon the location years ago as I was leaving an Agatha Christie play at St. Martin’s Theatre. The unassuming façade of this tiny restaurant did little to inspire me to venture in, and I would have passed on this gem if not for the distraction provided by a street performer playing a saxophone rendition of the “Pink Panther” melody. What can I say? I’m easily amused.

But once I stepped inside, I was transported across deserts and continents to somewhere other than London’s Theatre District. The initial dining area is made to look like the inside of a Bedouin tent complete with rugs and seating cushions on the floor. I was immediately enamored with the place, but would soon discover that the real treasures were to be found downstairs. In the basement, in what can only be described as alcoves or vaults built into the walls, there are private sitting areas illuminated only by candlelight. The food is aromatic with strong overtures of cinnamon and hints of mint. I would recommend the baklava and sweet mint tea for dessert. You can sit and talk with friends for hours, soaking up the ambiance, while belly dancers float about the room to the trance inducing music seemingly emanating from the walls.