Last week, I went to the new restaurant on Rupert Street, The Palomar. It is probably one of the best soft opening I have been to this year in London, definitely in the top 5 . The Chef at Palomar is Tomer Amedi, he is cooks dishes from Jerusalem with influences from Southern Spain, Italy, North Africa. I am really keen on this kind of food, so I was very happy when I heard about the concept.
The restaurant officially opened its door this week and is running a soft launch offer of 50% off until Saturday night.

The restaurant is divided into two different areas, tables and chairs at the back and a kitchen bar at the front near a raw bar.
My friend and I were seated at the bar, while we were looking at the menu and wine list, we were offered pickle, cabbage and carrot as an amuse bouche, follow my some homemade bread with tahini sauce.
Amuse bouche: pickle, saffron cabbage and carrot
Bread & Tahini
After hummus, tahini is probably my second favourite ingredient to enjoy just with a piece of bread.
The menu had two different categories : "Raw Bar", which is kind of starters and sides, and "Stove, Josper, Plancha" dishes which are main courses, plus some little snacks and 'The Daily' assorted mezze.
Moroccan oysters, coriander, lemon zest & harissa oil

As a starter my friend ordered two Moroccan oysters for himself and we shared an assorted mezze. All dishes from the assorted mezze were perfectly seasoned, spiced, but also they were very light.
Assorted Mezze

Beetroot & goat cheese
Beetroot and goat cheese, such a great combination, I don't remember which kind of nuts they had on top, but it added a bit of crunchiness to the dish.

Josper aubergine & tzatziki
My favourite dish in the assorted mezze was the aubergine cooked in the Josper oven. Texture was wonderful, it went very well with tzatziki. 

Labneh with olive oil & za'atar
It was the first time in my life I ate labneh, I have to say I quite liked it. The texture of the cheese is between feta and mozzarella. It was served on its own, with olive oil and za'atar. I preferred this cheese when it was served in the fattoush salad. 

Aubergine sima
I probably have an aubergine addiction at the moment, but this second dish was very tasty, the sauce and pomegranate were divine. Pomegranate had a little bit of bitterness to the dish.
Kale & feta
Finally I can say, I ate KALE !!!! Well, the dish was good, interesting combination with feta and almond, but I don't understand why everyone was so crazy and found kale amazing. It is just a cabbage after all.
Lentils & yogurt
Lentils & yogurt, very classic dish, easy to make. It is very hard to make a mistake with a dish like that. Lentils were seasoned with some spices. 

Shakshukit : deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yogurt, tahini, "the 4 tops" & leffa bread
Highlight dish of the night, the Shakshukit was divine, from the minced meat to the homemade leffa bread and to the 4 different sauce, everything was faultless. It is without doubt the best kebab I had in my life. I like the fact there tahini in it again.
Cornfed chicken: cooked in buttermilk & Jerusalem mixed spices with baby carrot & freekeh
Second main course was also very good, chicken was very tasty, with a lot of spice going on. The only disappointment was that the skin could have been a bit more crispy, but that is just my preference. Freekeh was something totally new to me, I liked the touch of sweetness provided by the sultanas. A very good dish.
Fattoush salad : tomato, cucumber, za'atar, sumac, laffa croutons & homemade labneh balls
As a side to compliment our mains, we ordered a fattoush salad, dressing and texture was perfectly balanced, a bit of softness and crunchiness. 

Basboussa : semolina cake, frozen yogurt, orange syrup, ground walnut brittle & bergamot tuile
Unfortunately on that night, not all the desserts were not available on the menu. My eyes caught the tahini ice cream, date syrup, whipped cream and fresh figs but it wasn't available. Next time... 
I had Basboussa, semolina cake was very good, I was a bit scared it will be maybe a bit dry, but it was perfect, the frozen yogurt went very well with it.

Palomar is a great new addition to the London foodie scene. I like Middle East cuisine, it reminds me all the afternoons I spent with my friend and sister in a Restaurant  : Le Cafe des couleurs we used to have in Toulouse, serving middle east dishes.
Staff was very friendly and nice, it was nice to be seated at the bar, as we were able to discuss with some of the chefs while they were cooking. Thank you Stepanka, Marco, John, Laura & Jason, for the service on that night. 
This first experience at The Palomar hasn't been enough for me, I need more... I have already planned by second visit, which will be pretty soon. I think this time I will have more dishes from the Stove, Josper, Plancha menu: Persian oxtail stew  or the polenta 'Jerusalem style'.

The Palomar
34 Rupert Street
W1D 6DN London
Twitter: @Palomarsoho
The Palomar on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

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