The Palomar

International, Middle Eastern·
££££
·
Gold Award
·

SquareMeal Review of The Palomar

Gold Award

Siblings Leo and Zoe Paskin have opened two slick follow-ups (The Barbary and Evelyn’s Table) to their original West End smash hit, but The Palomar remains the most compelling. It is a thrilling taste of melting-pot Jerusalem transplanted to London’s Chinatown, its exotic foreignness totally at home among the windows of barbecued duck and bubble tea.

Solo diners and couples sit up front at the counter, and though tables for four can be accommodated in the back room, to miss out on the open kitchen action is to forego the soul of this extraordinary restaurant. Familiar Middle Eastern staples are refined and re-invented by a small troupe of “passionate” chefs who can also turn their hand to mixing a mean cocktail.

Order a portion of cake-like kubaneh bread while perusing the menu and save some of the accompanying tahini and tomato sauce for the delights to come:  the signature shashlik kebab offsets succulent minced beef and lamb with pistachios and pine nuts, while tender Josper-grilled chicken sits atop a bed of black rice hiding raisins and pomegranate seeds.

It’s not all so richly savoury, though. Salads such as the house fattoush (tomatoes, cucumber and sumac) showcase ingredients at peak freshness and ripeness, while a malabi syrup pudding is remarkable for the clear hibiscus flavours shining through the sweetness. This is “skillful and delicate cooking”, notes a fan, “but it still feels fun and vibrant”.  

Bookings, alas, are only taken for the less atmospheric back room or for the first seats at the bar when doors open, but with the Paskins’ pub and cocktail bar, The Blue Posts, a few steps away, at least there’s now somewhere comfortable to go and wait.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
International, Middle Eastern
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Lively, Romantic, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About

The Palomar is a true London institution and arguably still one of the best middle eastern restaurants in the capital. Dedicated chefs turn out dishes inspired by Spanish, North Africa and the Levant. The best seat in the house is one of the 16 at the counter, where you can watch the magic happen up close. For a more refined dining experience, however, there is also a 40-cover dining room in the back.

Kick things off with an exciting house cocktail like the Soho kiss, a mix of whiskey, tequila, lillet rouge, sumac, lime, orange and soda, and some delicious snacks from the 'rip and dip' section of the menu. These handmade pitas, green olive labneh with za'atar and caramelised pistachios and even lamb brisket with white bean M'sabacha, harissa and pickled egg. Seafood at The Palomar is a must, with options like Metugan bream with Israeli kimchi and green harissa, or Yemeni crab labneh with herb salad, pickled carrots and amba yoghurt. Those seeking meat won't be disappointed either, with options like beef tartare with harissa aioli, shifka, sunflower seeds and mustard herbs or Persian lemon chicken with spicy chickpeas, cured lemon, aubergine and mint. 

From the 'field and garden', you'll see highly affordable vegetarian dishes like radicchio with saffron aioli and truffle oil or slow-cooked cabbage with Jerusalem artichoke and tahini puree, dates and macadamia. To finish, diners can enjoy some exotic treats like malabi with fruit coulis, coconut and roasted pecans or a sumac and lemon tart with orange blossom mousse. There is a pleasing mix of old and new world wines, including some bottles from the middle East. Those who prefer beer should try the Maccabee lager, which comes from Israel. If you're looking for a drink before or after, head to The Blue Posts, which is the group's pub.


FAQs

Are there vegetarian options?

Yes, there are lots of vegetarian options.

Helpful? 0

Does the restaurant have a Michelin star?

No, but it does have a Bib Gourmand, for excellent quality, affordable food.

Helpful? 0

Location

34 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 6DN

020 7439 8777 020 7439 8777

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:30-14:30
Tue 12:30-14:30
Wed 12:30-14:30
Thu 12:30-14:30
Fri 12:30-14:30
Sat 12:30-14:30
Sun 12:30-15:30
Dinner
Mon 17:30-23:00
Tue 17:30-23:00
Wed 17:30-23:00
Thu 17:30-23:00
Fri 17:30-23:00
Sat 17:30-23:00
Sun 18:00-21:00

Reviews

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24 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

31 December 2023  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 0.5
APPALLING SERVICE. DON’T GO

I had booked with my wife and 2 friends visiting London. We heard it was great food and we were all excited to go. About an hour before our reservation out 3 year sold cut his chin falling down the stairs and we took him to Chelsea and Westminster hospital where he had stitches. Our friend called 5 times to cancel the reservation but could not get through. While at the hospital the restaurant called and informed us they were going to charge our card. We explained that we were in hospital. They asked when our son injured himself and refused to allow us to cancel our reservation. They didn’t once ask if our son was alright and the lady was quite rude. As someone who works in hospitality I was shocked by their behaviour. We are looking at legal actions regarding our treatment. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

Lesley A

28 June 2019  
Lovely small plates of utter deliciousness, small but interesting wine list.

Alana F

30 March 2019  
Wow wow wow! This place has so much atmosphere being at the chefs counter, watching preparation and loving the buzzy atmosphere. Great for a date night or a real good catch up with friends. The food is AMAZING and just a very cool Soho spot.

Becky C

29 March 2019  
Food as good (if not better) than when they opened, atmosphere is unparalleled and music always on point!

Emilia G

29 March 2019  
Great sitting at the bar area, watching the chef's cook, efficient, clever cooking, wonderful food.

Anil V

06 July 2018  
Still best in londo.

Samantha W

05 July 2018  
Fun at the bar, lovely staff, great food.

Alana F

27 June 2018  
AMAZING experience! The food is to die for, amazingly presented and the counter dining and interaction with the chefs makes it perfect for date night, friendly catch ups or even solo dining. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers were dining two seats down from me when I went!

Sarah H

27 June 2018  
Amazing menu, great location, interesting wines, love this place!

Felicity G

24 April 2018  
Local produce in spectacular setting.
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Call The Palomar to make a booking on:

020 7439 8777 020 7439 8777

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