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.