One evening, we braved the crazy touristy crowds in Leicester square to venture into The Palomar, on Rupert street, for a dinner of modern day Jerusalem cuisine.
This restaurant has been raved on about so many critics, bloggers and a lot of my Israeli friends too, so I had really high hopes. It has won a lot of accolades too and is not the easiest to get a decent booking for, so advance planning is recommended.
I had recently visited the Barbary, their new brother restaurant, which I had really enjoyed, so I was really looking forward to it. Amit had wanted similar food so this was a no brainer to include as part of his birthday celebrations.
As you enter the restaurant, there is a 16 seat zinc Kitchen Bar that overlooks the Chefs, which reminds me of the layout of the Barbary. There is also a dining room at the back, which is where we were sat in a lovely corner.
The atomosphere is fun with energetic chefs in the kitchen, singing and dancing as they prepare the food, and loud catchy music. The decor is dark, moody but very modern and I really liked it!
The menus are quirky and have the names of all the staff on it. We were explained the way the menu works, which is mostly of a sharing nature. I decided on a cocktail called Bumblebee, which was a blend of Beefeater Gin, Honey & Ginger Syrup, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Lemon Juice & Orange Bitters and really refreshing.
To start with, we had the warm, fluffy Kubaneh, which I had heard lots about and the neighbouring table had ordered it before we did so I did have a sneak peek! This is a Yemeni pot baked bread and is served with tahini, which OMG was amazing, and a velvety tomato dip. I hogged the tahini dip and most of the bread. The bread arrived in a metal tin and I loved the drama of it being taken out of the tin and placed artfully on the board.
Fattoush Salad was next and was a delicious combination of chunky Tomato, cucumber, za’atar, sumac, challah croutons, brazil nuts & homemade labneh, which was very dreamy. I thought Amit wouldn’t like this but he was so amazed by it.
The two of us are chilli addicts, so we ordered the Spicy Experience, which was josperised chillies, harissa, schug & pickled Shifkeh peppers. It was spicy for sure but not too much that you couldn’t taste anything else. There were some lovely subtle flavours and a great smokiness to this dish. Only order this if you can handle your heat though!
Josperised Aubergine was next, which was my favourite dish. A feta emulsion, tomato, fresh oregano, crispy shallots & pine nuts, and just incredible and for me, the one dish I urge anyone going to the Palomar to order!
The dish we were divided by was the Shakshukit. This was deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yoghurt, tahini, “The 4 tops” & Yaeli’s pita. A lot of foodies have loved this dish, and Amit absolutely loved it too but I found it underwhelming and not as flavoured as I would have liked. However, that is just my taste and it was Amit’s favourite. This does happen between us a lot and our tastes are just so varied!
The Josperized Poussin with za’atar & sumac rub & amber yoghurt, was one of the larger plates and am so glad we were sharing as I was so full by this point. It was really good! Fantastic presentation, perfectly cooked, marinated deeply and just beautiful.
Finally, it was time for dessert, a Chocolate Crémeux. A blend of earl grey infused crémeux, blood orange, milk streusel, cardamom marshmallow & coco-hazelnut tile. A wonderful variety of flavours and textures, and really indulgent and the perfect sweet note to end the meal with.
We had a wonderful meal and I can now understand why it has such fantastic reviews. The service was exceptional, the ambience and atmosphere was a lot of fun and the prices were reasonable. The food was amazing, diverse flavours and well presented and served. I would go again especially for that aubergine dish!