After months of trying to get a booking for this unassuming Soho eatery I finally managed to get in for an early evening supper and I’m already planning my next visit. The Palomar is sister to the uber cool Machneyuda restaurant in Jerusalem. Like Machneyuda, The Palomar’s delectable menu features dishes from Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant – but with a twist. As usual I took my trusty iPhone along to document my meal…
What I ate…
The Palomar’s menu is based on hot and cold dishes to share, my dining partner and I shared about 9 dishes (all in the interest of research). The food came out timed to perfection so there was never a lull in service and you had the perfect amount of time to eat.
We started off with the Oysters which were fresh, salty and just divine, followed by a the day’s special, a kind of spiced beef tartar which was fresh and flavoursome. The highlight of the meal had to be the heavenly Pork and Apricot Tagine… the meat literally melted like butter as soon as it hit my tongue and it was served with sweet, salty, giant couscous and sticky spiced apricots. I basically hate all other food now. Dessert was stunning also, a melee of chocolate, Italian meringue and the loveliest cardamom-flavoured marshmallow.
The food was all new to me, exciting, packed with flavour and mostly fun! I couldn’t fault any single element of any of the dishes I ate at all.
What I drank…
A really rich and fruity Rioja from the small but well-curated wine list and a delicious sweet Sherry with dessert.
What’s the vibe?
The restaurant was packed and lively, exactly as you’d expect fpr such a hot new restaurant. No pretension here though, it has in instantly homely and welcoming vibe – you wouldn’t feel bad if you guffawed loudly over your appetiser or spilled a drink. The staff were all enthusiastic and friendly – often just stopping by for a chat or to ask how your food is and our waitress was the perfect person to guide us through the unfamiliar menu.
The décor is pure Mad Men 50s glamour, with teal leather seats, lots of dark polished wood, low mood lighting and shiny brass fittings. The open kitchen adds to the exciting buzz of the restaurant and the neon Palomar sign is perfect for snapping and uploading to Instagram.
What’s the cost?
I ate more than I should have but I couldn’t help it – everything was so delicious. So baring in mind that this was a decadent meal I don’t think the price was that bad. My bill was £140 for two people including drinks, a bottle of wine, service and tip.
And the verdict is…?
I LOVE THE PALOMAR! GQ agree too as it’s been named restaurant of the year, and well deserved. The food was phenomenal, but even if it weren’t I’d go back for the atmosphere – it was a fabulous night out – the food was a bonus.
The Palomar, 34 Rupert Street, London W1D