Review: The Palomar

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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.

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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!

 

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About Binny

Hi, I'm Binny - a writer, dreamer and serial wanderluster with a love for Wildlife Conservation. I am originally from Kenya but I now live in London. 'Karibu' to Binny's Food and Travel! I regularly share my experiences eating out, cooking and travelling, both in the UK and globally, as well as educate on the plight of Wildlife. I am an ambassador for World Animal Protection and regularly support the work of The Born Free Foundation, Four Paws and Dreams Come True Charity. I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way. It's my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible!

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13 Comments

  1. I really loved The Palomar too but we had completely different dishes to you (apart from that must have bread!!) I’d definitely recommend the cauliflower if you go back xx

    Posted 8.20.16 Reply
  2. Binny wrote:

    OOOOH how did I miss the Cauliflower dish will definitely have to go back sometime xx

    Posted 8.20.16 Reply
  3. Love this! It looks so good. I really wan to visit the Barbury sometime. Date night? X

    Posted 8.21.16 Reply
  4. I NEED to go – we want to visit with my brother and sister in law, and had a great table – buy they don’t quite get the urgency of booking it in & we lost it 🙁

    Posted 8.21.16 Reply
    • Binny wrote:

      OH NO!!! You HaVE to go xxxxx

      Posted 8.21.16 Reply
  5. Gorgeous photos! Looks like lots of delicious ingredients used in these dishes.

    This post would make a great addition to Our Growing Edge, a monthly blog link up just for new food adventures. It’s a fun way to share your new food experiences with other foodies. This month’s theme is WORK DAY EATING which includes any recipe or food experience suitable for the work day such as lunch, snacks or easy meals.

    More info including how to submit your link here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/

    Posted 8.21.16 Reply
  6. aeparker81 wrote:

    Such a good restaurant, you need to go to Machneyuda now you have the taste for this, it’s another level of brilliance (although they don’t have the bread, cannot wait for cook book to arrive next week so I can make my own!!)

    Posted 8.21.16 Reply
    • Binny wrote:

      Ooooh will definitely check that out! Thank you!!

      Posted 8.21.16 Reply
  7. indjagar wrote:

    I love this place!

    The seats at the Kitchen Bar cannot be reserved but once the restaurant opens at 5pm you can get on a list. If you’re willing to be patient, and wait for an hour or so (you can have drinks there or go somewhere nearby and they call you) you always get a table.

    I think Barbary can’t be reserved at all, right?

    Posted 8.22.16 Reply
    • Binny wrote:

      Yeah Barbary is no reservations 🙂

      Posted 8.22.16 Reply
  8. Love love love the Palomar! We definitely have similar taste for a lot of dishes/ drinks, including the Bumble Bee. You need to try the Jerusalem-style polenta next time too! xx

    Posted 8.23.16 Reply
  9. This looks just devine. I like the presentation and the small portions. I bet that dessert was amazing!

    Posted 9.3.16 Reply
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