Harden's survey result
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“The Israeli answer to Barrafina” – this “compact” (“squashed”, “noisy” and sometimes “boiling”) Tel Aviv import is a “joyous” and “horizon-opening” experience, where “the good humour of the staff is infectious” and the “clever” (if sometimes “miniscule”) small plates dish up “whizz-bang” flavours that “demand to be noticed”. “Sitting at the counter, interacting with the chefs” is the way to go – you can only book for the much less funky dining room.
“If you can’t visit their original restaurant, Machneyuda in Israel” this “piece of trendy Tel Aviv in London” is “the next best thing”. “Cramped, noisy and pulsating with life”, you can book for the side room, but the place to be is the “buzzy, free-style” bar “rubbing elbows with your neighbours”. Service is “friendly” and “as it comes”, and the “adventurous Levantine food” is “ultra-fresh” and “anything but dull!”
“Israeli cooking as in Jerusalem” (“brilliant, punchy, sparky” small dishes), plus “super-keen and knowledgeable” service have made a smash-hit of this “bare-walled” yearling, in the heart of the West End – “the joint is jumping!” and it’s superb “fun” (if “squashed” and “extremely noisy”). There’s a little, tough-to-book, dining room, or sit at the bar and watch the chefs in action.
“Genuinely new and different”, this “brilliant” modern Israeli opening is “off to a flying start” with its “interesting fusion-style menu”, “buzzing” atmosphere and “infectiously enthusiastic” staff; handy location too, three minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Circus.
The Palomar Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Very good food and nice atmosphere. Great to go with friends and share"
"Always full, so you need to book 2 months in advance. Nicest place to sit is at the bar, although you canâ€™t book there. Very interesting food, excellently made, great interaction with the chefs"
"Excellent doesn't do Palomar justice. Sublime food, the best service and vibrant ambience."
"Having sat at the bar on previous occasions, we booked a table in the back and despite warnings of high levels of noise from our daughter, it wasn't too bad but we could have done without the music. Charming and speedy service so we just managed to beat the 11.30pm kitchen deadline - fatoush salad, octopus, pork belly were stand out dishes and, with a good bottle of txacol, the bill at just over £100 seemed quite reasonable."
"Great Mediterranean & Middle-eastern dishes"
"Had lunch here and was expecting more from what I had read. The Yiddish style chopped chicken liver pate was disappointing 2 small mounds of pate on 2 small pieces of bread. was good, but I was expecing NY style large portion to share. . Kubanah (bread and dips):.bread good, .tahina good, tomato dip unmemorable. Beetroot carpaccio, pretty and tasty. Octo-hummous (Octopus), not bad. Pork belly tagine was probably the best dish, and a generous portion to share. The cheapest house red wine (£27) was fine. Noise level with piped music too loud for comfortable conversation."
Handily located near Piccadilly Circus, a characterful and upbeat dining bar/restaurant bringing refreshing modern Israeli cuisine to the heart of the West End.
Serving 'the food of modern day Jerusalem' - in Chinatown - this quirky spot is clearly not your typical newcomer. And it's not just the mismatch between the culinary style and the location which makes it rather unusual. We can't think of many places where not only the kitchen staff, but the front-of-house too, all get individual name checks on that day's menu, or where one of the chefs wears a tweed cap, or indeed where there is no menu in the window - an oversight the day we visited, perhaps, but not entirely in accordance with the law.
But let's not let legalities get in the way. It's not difficult to see why, with its upbeat vibe (and quite loud jazz Muzak), this handily-located place has so speedily made waves, as almost everything on the menu is decidedly more-eish (and often Moorish too).
Even the Challah bread (served warm, with Tahini) was impressive. We used it avidly to scoop out a ramekin of polenta 'Jerusalem style' (with mushroom ragout and truffle oil) - a dish so unctuous it could equally well have been described as being in the style of Uriah Heep. Fortunately we were able to 'cut' it with a refreshing salad of fennel with Feta vinaigrette. For a (very) light lunch, with a small glass of wine, for £20, our meal thus far would have made a very civilised choice.
We pressed on, though. A main course of 'deconstructed' lamb kebab was perhaps the least successful choice - a compilation without much in the way of physical structure, it sometimes just seemed an assemblage of rather strident tastes. Harmony was restored, though, by a chocolate crémeux of which any Gallic pÃ¢tissier would have been proud. Fortunately the espresso was as intense as it was short.
All in all a very handy place, then, if you sit at the bar counter - shades of J Sheekey's Oyster Bar, we thought.
For more serious troughing, the intimate panelled dining room at the back would be the place to be. Book well ahead.
34 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DN
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Mon - Sat noon - 2.30 pm, 5.30 pm - 11 pm; Sun 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm, 6 pm - 9 pm
Last orders: 11 pm, Sun 9 pm