Palomar

Why go here:

It is the sister restaurant to Machneyuda, one of Jerusalem’s best, hippest restaurants. Also, it is one of London’s only restaurants serving modern Israeli food.

What it looks like:

You can choose to be seated at the bar counter where you can get to see the chefs, who are all seemingly young, at work and apparently you may also get to do shots with them.

11148441_10152761642716711_1548810029175775886_n

We decided to go for the dining room with the leather banquettes because it had a bit more room and we wouldn’t have to worry about elbowing the other guests while eating. However, due to the popularity of the place the tables are packed quite close together and we could almost hear the people sat at the tables next to us. We might as well as have sat at the bar and gotten to see the young chefs at work..

IMG_6776

The food:

I recommend you to order the small plates and share so you can get to try as many of these little plates of creativity and deliciousness as possible. As per recommendation from our friendly waiter, we ordered the Kubaneh, a light fluffy buttery bread baked in a little pot which came with a fresh silky Tahini and a gazpacho like tomato puree.

IMG_0257

Next we has the creamy Polenta, Jersumalem style. It was flavoured with truffle oil and dished with plenty of parmesan, mushrooms and asparagus. The polenta, unlike any I’d had before, was more creamy than cake-y and the truffle made it every bit more indulgent. And it all came in a tiny steel casserole, which I really wish larger, since I could have definitely eaten more of this dish.

photo 3

The Salmon Tartare was an interesting take on the classic dish with added yoghurt, pine nuts and tahini and served with two, very different but both delicious aubergine purees.

download

The Shakshukit i.e. the deconstructed Kebab was also done very well and involved minced meat fried and served with an array of vibrant sauces and freshly made, traditional Israeli pita.

Verdict:

While portion sizes might make you a bit sulky, this place is a must try for all people out there who wanted to experience Tel Aviv in London and get a taste of the exciting flavours modern Israeli cooking offers.

Advertisements

Kopapa

Why go here

If you want to try eclectic food which combines Asian, European and Middle Eastern cuisines.

What it looks like:

Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, the place has a modern feel to it. A square room with parallel lined tables and minimalist decor. But it is quite small which is why if you come for brunch, you’ll most likely be seated outside since the place is pretty popular among brunch lovers for its Turkish eggs.

The food:

While there is a good value pre-theatre menu available, you’re best placed in ordering multiple small plates and sharing them because there is much more choice available with these. Of course this also means you can maximise the number of new things you’ll get to try (I can guarantee that you’d not have had the majority of the dishes on the menu before).

The dishes we ordered were the Tempura-spiced Dhal Pocket; the Sesame Chilli Salted Squid; the Prawn and Chorizo Scotch Egg and the Caramelised Onion, Feta and Pesto Tortilla.  Our favourite was the dhal pocket, a mildly spiced lentil cake stuffed with a mix of caramelised coconut and pickled papaya. The dish had a subtle blend of Indian and Thai flavours.

kopapa

The pesto tortilla reflected a confluence of Greek and Spanish with the caramelised onions adding a French touch. But what wins one over is the super gooey and runny inside – it has for forever changed my expectations for what a tortilla should look and taste like.

kopapa2

Every dish was an explosion of flavours and the brains behind the menu definitely have a very good idea of what combinations work, no matter how unusual they are.

Portions are pretty small, so you’re recommended ordering five or more plates for sharing between two people. Service was quite attentive even though the restaurant was crowded, with the waiter taking the time to walk us through what the different dishes entailed.

Overall

Great location, unique and very delicious food merging cuisines from different parts of the world. Ideal for brunch or for an evening tapas style meal.