Carmel

Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Wine Bars·
££££
·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Carmel

Silver Award

Berber & Q’s classier, on-trend older brother has left home and picked the most achingly cool of London locations - Lonsdale Road in Queen’s Park. Frankly, as soon as you walk in the door the signs are good - there’s a rousing atmosphere in the packed dining room, and the waft of smokey foods is a sign of good things to come.

The team has managed to do a lot with a little, regarding the space. Hints of the building's industrial skeleton poke out in places, but they’ve been smartly disguised under hanging ferns and behind plant pots. The brick and tile counter provides nice contrast with a long wooden banqueting table in the centre of the dining room, and low-hanging terracotta lamps set the mood. As for the organic house soundtrack, well, your mileage will vary on that one, but it does match the buzzy atmosphere.

There’s lots to love about the food too. Sit at the open kitchen counter and you can admire the procession of flatbreads heading in and out of the oven, and gaze at slow-roasting chickens on the grill. Our spiced lamb flatbread - topped liberally with Aleppo chilli and sumac yoghurt - was utterly delicious, whilst a mushroom one, though a tad doughy by comparison, was also nicely balanced with salty Manouri cheese and the tang of creme fraiche.

These aren’t even the best things on the menu. We’ll add our voice to the list of those celebrating the absolutely mesmerising slow-grilled urfa chilli chicken with pomegranate molasses - an instant classic. The harissa-grilled prawns with ‘nduja butter are sensational too, leaving the sort of pan sediment that will have you scraping at the cast iron dish with a spoon.

So, what’s not to like? Well, we expected much from a grilled hispi cabbage dish but it fell a bit flat for us, and the sweets felt like an afterthought. But if Carmel upgrades its dessert game? This could be one of London's very best.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Wine Bars
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Lively, Romantic
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic

About Carmel

Carmel is a welcoming all-day restaurant and bar serving a menu of East Mediterranean cuisine. Located in the heart of Queen’s Park, a short walk from the main High Street. Carmel is light and contemporary with an open kitchen and a large tabun oven. Plants dangle from the ceiling, and small banquettes line the windows in this quasi-industrial yet natural space. Counter dining is available for those who want to see the action up close. There is a lunch and dinner menu, plus a set menu for both. 

If you’re visiting Carmel for dinner perhaps you will start with some snacks and small plates such as the flatbreads served with tahini and fermented chilli or the mussel escabeche served with aioli, confit tomato and bruschetta. Other small plates include charred hispi cabbage served with ras el hanout and macadamia dukkah. Large plates include a slow-grilled urfa chilli chicken served with pomegranate molasses jus, and a smoked lamb dish served with garlic and pickled turnip. There is also a 34-day aged sirloin for two which comes with wild pear ezme butter and burnt Roscoff onion. 

There is a large drinks menu that features wine by the glass or bottle, there is also a selection of beer, plus sparkling wines, spirits and soft drinks. 

If you’re visiting Carmel for lunch you will find a good selection of light bites and small dishes such as cured sardines served with potato and sour cream and turmeric fried eggs served with pickled shallots, spinach and tamarind. You will also find flatbreads on the menu, these can be served with wild mushrooms, spiced lamb or simply potato and rosemary. 

Carmel has also recently developed a breakfast menu featuring dishes such as blackberry granola, stuffed french toast and oat porridge made with cardamom milk and saffron poached pears. 


FAQs

Does Carmel have vegetarian options?

Yes, Carmel has a range of vegetarian options.

Helpful? 0

Is there counter dining at Carmel?

Yes.

Helpful? 0

Is Carmel a good place for date?

We think so!

Helpful? 0

Location

23-25 Lonsdale Road, Queen's Park, London, NW6 6RA

020 3848 2090

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-23:00
Wed 12:00-23:00
Thu 12:00-23:00
Fri 09:00-23:00
Sat 09:00-23:00
Sun 09:00-22:00

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