I have heard many great things about The Palomar, a very stylish restaurant that is renowned for its modern cooking from Jerusalem. Located just off the ever busy China Town, The Palomar has an open kitchen with bar seating at the front and a 40 seats cover room at the back. You can not book unless it is for before 5:30pm, so it's best to turn up early, as it is an extremely popular restaurant. The menu is not your typical a la carte format, with a wide choices of snacks and a middle course between the raw starters and mains. Judging from the menu, the cooking takes inspiration well beyond Israel, with plenty of North African and European influence, this kind of modern take on Mediterranean cooking is something I have fallen in love with lately and that was one of the main factor I have decided to pay The Palomar a visit.
|Dungarvan rock oysters with coriander, |
lemon zest & harissa oil
|Yiddish style chopped chicken liver paté on bruschetta|
|Tunisian lamb shoulder, butternut squash and yogurt|
The Yiddish style chopped chicken liver paté had a great seasoning, with just enough mustard to offset the bold earthiness of the pate, all on top of a crispy bruschetta. I was a big fan of the Tunisian lamb shoulder salad, the spiciness of the rocket and the settle sweetness of the butternut squash worked so well with the lamb, while the yoghurt added a touch of freshness and coolness to the dish. The pork belly tajine was moist and had an unusual garnish of dried apricots which offered a very pleasant and mellow fruitiness, the Israeli couscous was also remarkable with its silky smooth texture. "The Jerusalem Mix" was easily the best dish of the lot, it contained a selection of really well executed chicken livers, hearts, thighs and veal sweetbreads. It had some very interesting smoky and nutty aroma and tender texture. All piled on top of some very flavoursome okra and tomato salad.
|Octopus medley, butter beans and yogurt|
|Jerusalem mix chicken livers, hearts & veal sweetbreads |
a la plancha with okra, tomato & tahini
|Pork belly Tajine with Ras el Hanout, |
dried apricots & Israeli couscous
The cooking at The Palomar went beyond of my expectation, in fact there weren't a weak dish out of all the dishes I have tasted. I really enjoyed how the kitchen dished out some very exciting Mediterranean flavour: offering plenty of rich, robust flavours while maintaining a touch of refinement. It actually reminds me of Oklava in Shoredtich, both places were smashing out some very impressive modern favours from the Middle East and North Africa. The only issue I had with The Palomar is the cost, with no alcohol or any soft drink, the bill came to almost £100 for 2 which was seriously expensive. For that kind of price you can easily have a set lunch in a 2 Michelin starred restaurant in London, and due to the casual setting and speedy cooking at The Palomar, you would easily finish your meal in less than an hour.
What I paid:
£50 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN