The Palomar, in the heart of Soho, is owned by sister and brother duo Zoë and Layo Paskin. The siblings love travelling and Jerusalem was one of their favourite destinations. Between them they have experienced a lot of different culture and food and from this The Palomar was born. Inspired by modern Jerusalem, with rich dishes from southern Spain, Italy, North Africa through to the Levant.
I first heard of the Palomar when my best friend Claire mentioned it over the summer. We attempted to walk in one Friday evening after work but we didn’t anticipate the wait to be so long, they suggested we put our names on their waiting list and get drinks from the bar. We decided to go somewhere else that evening. Nevertheless last month it was Claire’s birthday, and I surprised her by taking her there. This time I managed to book in advance for the dining area.
We were running late so I rang to let them know, the lady on the phone was very understanding. When we arrived we were greeted with a warm welcome, and we were guided through the kitchen bar into the main restaurant. It is petite and cosy with royal blue leather upholstery and wood panelling with a skylight which allows natural light to seep into the restaurant.
We were immediately greeted by our lovely waiter Emma, she was enthusiastic and super friendly she asked whether we had been before, she explained how their service worked and the number of dishes that would be enough for us. Once we ordered our dishes; we decided to celebrate Claire’s birthday with some bubbly, two glasses of prosecco – organic extra dry ERA from Italy. Prosecco isn’t a drink I gravitate towards generally but whatever was in this bottle was light and fruity and I didn’t feel giddy until I stood up – dangerous stuff!
Our first dish arrived; homemade pitta bread and m’sabacha – Chickpeas, tahini, zhug from the rip and dip section of the menu. This had a lot of flavour, the pita bread was warm and fluffy and was extraordinary when dipped in the m’sabacha. We just had to order more of the pitta bread as we couldn’t get enough.
Soon after the Artichokes a la Plancha Stilton cream, smashed nuts arrived although Emma suggested to place the stilton cream on the side [as of course Claire is vegan] and I couldn’t tempt her into trying some of the deliciously light and creamy cheese that was in front of us. The artichokes were cooked to perfection with a lot of delicious flavours.
The next dish was their Chef’s Falafel Chickpeas, herbs, chilli it was tasty but wasn’t my favourite dish.
From the Pasture & Courtyard section I chose the Shakshukit beef, lamb, pistachios, pine nuts. Emma kindly suggested I should have half the portion as it would be too much for one, plus we had ordered five dishes between us. This was phenomenal the flavours danced in my mouth, I would have never thought that beef and lamb would marry so well together.
Next came the rice dish, something I wouldn’t order again as I personally thought it was a little bit too earthy for my tastebuds but I must say its rather juicy in consistency. Our final dish for the table was their Baba Ganoush Coriander, pomegranate seeds. This was tasty and a dip that Claire loved and enjoyed when she went to Israel. Claire enjoyed her experience at The Palomar as much as I did, we received such a friendly reception and the food was outstanding.
Sadly they don’t provide vegan options for desserts, however we were totally stuffed by the end of the five dishes! Our waiter Emma heard it was Claire’s birthday so she created their Au revoir Shoshana – Beefeater Gin, Pink Grapefruit & Rose Sherbet, Lemon Juice, Sumac Tincture, Soda Water in a shot glass for us to enjoy – delicious fruity and moorish. I will be having a tall glass of this cocktail when I’m back next time!
I highly recommend The Palomar, the warm vibe and welcoming atmosphere really made it special and Emma and the whole team are so informative. The restaurant and kitchen were full so I would advise booking in advance to book the dining room as it is often booked up two months in advance.
Bookings can be made throughout lunch and dinner for parties of up to six guests. Seats can be booked up to four guests at the kitchen bar, however after the first sitting the kitchen bar is on a walk in basis. Reservation times are 12noon and 1.30pm at lunch or 5.30pm in the evening Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays 12.30pm and 6pm.