The Better Half (TBH) and I had theatre tickets booked for a matinee show last Saturday and when looking for a restaurant we could have lunch at beforehand, I was really happy to find that The Palomar was within spitting distance of the theatre. Billed as serving food from a modern day Jerusalem with influences from the Levant, Southern Spain and North Africa; the sharing style of eating here is right up my alley.
Food: We were advised to pick 4 or 5 different dishes from the menu to share and I tried to choose one from each section. The kubaneh – a Yemeni pot baked bread served with tahini and grated tomato (£5.00) got us off to a strong start. As light as a feather, it was like I imagine eating a cloud would be. Other highlights were the fattoush salad (£8.50) whose dressing was perfectly balanced with the creamy labneh and had fantastic contrasting textures, the Shackshukit (£11.00) – think decontructed kebab, only a million times better, was TBH’s favourite dish and he would’ve happily devoured the whole portion to himself. The josperised prawns (£23.00) served on a bed of Puy lentils was another firm favourite but we both thought this dish to be a little pricey considering there were only 3 prawns on the dish. It was so tasty that we could probably overlook this though. I had read rave reviews about the Cauliflower ‘steak’ (£8.00) but neither of us was overly keen on this dish. Nice enough, but less enjoyable in comparison to everything else we tried. All in all the food is packed full of flavour and the sharing concept wins me over every time.
Ambiance: I’ve read that a seat at the long zinc bar overlooking the chefs at work is the place to be, but on this occasion we were seated at the back of the restaurant and I enjoyed the 90’s Café del Mar style chill out music playing in the background (I’m giving away my age here!). It suited my mood perfectly. We would like to go back one evening to experience the fun atmosphere at the bar though.
Service: The service was relaxed and friendly and our waitress was happy to talk us through the items that weren’t familiar to us.
Price: We paid £93.38 for 6 dishes, drinks and service.
And finally…the Palomar ticks all the right boxes – the menu is interesting and won’t break the bank, it has a great atmosphere and the location couldn’t be more central. Sounds pretty darn good to me!
Until we eat again!