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When the original Bevis Marks Restaurant moved north from its original site, it left a gap in the
market. Thankfully, this new eatery, located in the grounds of the London’s oldest synagogue (built in 1701), is primed to deliver a bold, contemporary take on traditional Jewish cuisine. Gefilte
fish appears as wild sea-bass mousseline with beetroot, horseradish, ginger and carrot jelly, bowls of restorative ‘Jewish penicillin’ are billed as ‘chicken consommé with tortellini’, and a
modernised version of flanken involves hay-smoked short ribs with celeriac purée and pomegranate. To conclude, how about a modish riff on Middle Eastern tishpishti (orange blossom and semolina
cake) embellished with carrot sorbet and black olive ‘soil’? You can also start the day with a kibbutz-style Israeli breakfast or filo-pastry bourekas. The international wine list includes some
mevushal (Kosher) bottles.
When the opportunity presented itself to dine at not only the UK’s sole fine dining Jewish restaurant, but one set in the heart of Britain’s oldest synagogue, I happily accepted. Restaurant 1701 is modern and bright, at odds with its ancient foundations, and of a cut glass fine ambience. A 7 course tasting menu with accompanying wine flight is offered journeying the Jewish world, and it was with Ukrainian Jewish that my excursion began.To start; borscht. Now, we all know borscht, but not like this; piping hot, with a spherified ball of tart balsamic, cutting through iron rich beetroot and followed with a fiery burst of horseradish. It’s probably the first time I’ve enjoyed borscht. ‘Sabich’, a marriage of my twin favourites of aubergine and Japanese, I was always going to love...
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