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56-58 Marylebone Lane
Occupying a prime spot just off Wigmore Street, Delamina is well-placed to mop up diners from foodie Marylebone and restaurant-starved Oxford Street. Husband and wife owners Amir and Limor Chen also own Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch, and with Delamina’s muted colour palette and homely furniture, there’s a strong family resemblance between the two restaurants, although tables feel much closer together here: don’t come with anything confidential to discuss.
The cooking takes its cue from Limor’s childhood in Tel Aviv as well as a family background that takes in Russia and Iran. Unusually for this style of food, main courses and puddings were the best things we ate, especially a beguilingly sweet and spicy whole poussin glazed with ras-el-hanout and honey, and a super-smooth halva and roast almond parfait in which the sugariness was offset by a savoury drizzle of tahini. We also rated pitta with a double dip of aubergine and tahini, and an alluring jumble of charcoaled leeks with manouri cheese and dried apricots. To drink, there’s a short list of wines and beers including options from Lebanon and Israel. Friendly staff are another plus at an eastern Mediterranean restaurant that offers a fresh alternative to the usual Middle Eastern mezze-and-grills formula.
Best Middle Eastern
56-58 Marylebone Lane
Bond Street Tube Station 237m
Oxford Circus Tube Station 639m
Wigmore Street 40m
The Wigmore Hall 134m
Mon-Fri 12N-2.45pm 5.30-10pm Sat-Sun 10.30am-4pm 5-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
For a mid-market restaurant looking to tick all the right boxes, look no further than Delamina. Like many of the eateries of Tel Aviv from where the team behind this venture hail, the atmosphere is distinctly informal, but buzzing with life. Food-wise, the emphasis is on healthy and nutritious, combining the freshness of produce from the Mediterranean with the spiciness and cooking techniques (especially grilling and roasting) of the Middle East. If the Palomar and the Barbary led the way in this respect, then Delamina represents a natural evolution, more like a neighbourhood restaurant than an on-trend central London destination. Throughout, service was exemplary with no effort spared to introduce and explain the dishes and the thought process behind them. If anything, the problem is that the tables are too small to accommodate all that we ordered. Dishes are designed for sharing and the vegetable openers can be customised as mains should diners so desire. Pricing is very fair (~£8-10 for smaller options; ~£15 for larger ones), although with so much on offer, there may be a tendency to over-order. Highlights from our visit included charred cauliflower with lemon-zest infused crème fraiche and pomegranate molasses and a grilled courgette offering with pine kernels and labneh drizzle. The skill of the chefs at Delamina clearly lies in taking relatively humble vegetables and infusing them with character and flavour. The mains also pleased, particularly a whole deboned poussin glazed with ras el-hanout (a spice mix) and honey and then chargrilled, accompanied with sweet potato. The wine list impressed although it could still be considered work-in-progress as not all bottles advertised were available. Nonetheless, the Lebanese white with which we began was an inspired choice. Overall, a definite success. I have plans to return.
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