The Palomar // Soho // London

The Palomar is a buzzing modern interpretation of Israeli cuisine. It’s already created a stir with its unique flavour profiles not commonly seen in many London restaurants. That being said, the restaurant has a vibe that you can’t overlook when you step inside – the young animated chefs who take shots as they cook, guests seated right up against the bar overseeing the open kitchen and the efficient and knowledgeable service.

We selected 2 starters and 4 mains from a varied but not overly complicated menu. One of my favourite dishes is the homemade hot kubaneh Yemeni pot baked bread served with tahini and grated tomatoes. At first it’s easy to be overlooked as it’s not a protein or a special, however the soft and flaky texture – a cross between a croissant and brioche and the novelty of having the bread turned upside down at the table makes this the perfect dish to mop up the final bits of gooeyness from the mains.

The shakshukit which is a deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yoghurt and tahini topped with pita croutons is well balanced with the salty nuttiness of the tahini soaking up the middle eastern spiced mince scattered on top (if only there was more!). This can be perfectly lapped up by the vessel that is the pot baked bread. The Jerusalem polenta is also a unique take on a traditionally Italian dish where the added umami flavours from the mushroom, parmesan and truffle oil brings this dish to another level, the wet polenta is perfectly cooked without the gluey texture and at times, overly salty flavour prevalent in other interpretations.

The pork belly tagine with ras el hanout, dried figs and Israeli couscous is also another favourite – the pork belly is caramelized, sticky and tender. This was perfectly accompanied by the Israeli couscous which is small pearl like in shape and bouncy in texture, this was the ideal bedding to soak up the sticky sauces from the pork, figs and apricots

I would highly recommend this restaurant for a date night or those wanting a buzzing atmosphere for the start of a big night out. Don’t expect huge portions of comfort food but rather anticipate smaller plates packed with flavour and an energetic atmosphere to go with it.

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