“Best food I've eaten in London for a VERY long time”; those were the words that came soaring out of my mouth last week after an Amazing dinner at Palomar with A and Chloe (Platform 1). As an incredibly kind [and overly-generous] treat, Chloe was thanking us for our work during our four-month residency at Platform 1. I love our industry...
Giving thoughts on experiences at other restaurants is not the point of our weekly musings on this blog. We are on a road to realise our own dreams to open our own little patch of heaven to call our own, and so powerful are peoples' opinions that we have no interest in making this a habit. That being said....immediately upon emerging from the doors of Soho's Palomar I knew that this was something I wanted to document for my own memory.
After a cocktail or two at The Lab, while we waited for our turn to come around on the waitlist, we made our way to Palomar on a cold (and increasingly damp) Monday night and found ourselves some ringside seats to their open kitchen. The food was delicious and the service was fantastic – all things you would expect from a restaurant styling itself as being modern Jerusalem meets Mediterranean cooking. The toughest part is getting a seat as the space itself was literally heaving all night. Bookings are taken for the first turn but from then on it's first come first served (albeit through a well-organised waitlist system!). As far as food options go we initially considered a tasting menu but instead, decided we'd go make our own selection to share between the three of us. It went a little something like this:
Fattoush Salad – a fresh and acidic salad, perfectly seasoned and served over labneh. This was a resounding winner with all of us. SO GOOD!
Kubanahe – a tin-baked bread from Yemen served with tahini and velvet tomato. Reminded me of a cross between foccacia and a savoury brioche in texture.
Jerusalem Mix – The group of ladies who were sat before us strongly recommended this, as did the table pair sat next to us. Not one to usually rely solely on recommendations when we all read it we knew that a) we HAD to have it and b) it was going to be fucking delicious....and it was!
Rib-Eye Steak – we took a slightly safe option here and had this alongside the Jerusalem Style polenta, but who doesn't love steak and polenta?!
Cauliflower Steak – was not something we ordered but the chef of the night was nice enough to send one out to us to try. Great veggie main option (I think it was vegan to) that we shared.
We had a great dinner, and walked out of the door fantastically well-fed. For me it restored faith in going out to eat, especially considering the number of disappointments there have been of late. I won't labour on about it but there have been some very undwerwhelming meals that I've had of late at some heavily-touted places. I don't know whether that is as a result of having a bad day in the office, (goodness knows I have had my fair share of them) or something else, but it does make me wonder what happens when some of the highly-regarded critics out there go and visit some establishments where things just seem, wrong. Rant over, Palomar....thank you so much for having us, we'll be back soon! R.