You know the way I’ve mentioned before what Mr Frivolitea says about pink neon signs…….

    
Well this was, yet again, a sign of really really good things. I mean, I knew it was going to be good, Our friend JB has been telling us for months that we need to go and it has just won the people’s choice in the Observer Food Monthly awards. However it exceeded my expectations.  I loved everything about it.  It’s elegant, it’s vibrant.  We were given a seat at a table in the back corner. It was away from the heart of the restaurant which at first I thought might mean I was disappointed but actually our little corner was great.  The Palomar is all about sharing dishes, something I particularly love, and it’s my kind of food. Described by the restaurant as the food of modern day Jerusalem, the only problem with the menu is that it makes it really difficult to choose! At least the great thing about a menu of lots of sharing dishes is that you can try more things.

We started with Kubaneh.  A Yemeni pot baked bread served with tahini and velvet tomatoes.  The bread had a rich brioche quality  about it and the tahini, well, I’d buy it by the litre. It was rich and intense and absolutely delicious. 

  
We choose to have beetroot carpaccio from the raw bar.  The beetroot came with burnt goats cheese, hazelnut brittle, lentil tuille and pomegranate molasses vinaigrette. My favourite dish of the night I think. A dish that looked simple but was packed full of  little bursts of flavour and texture. 

  
We chose a Mackerel fricassee from the specials menu. It was served with a Tunisian fried bun, potato, cured lemon, capers and quails egg. I liked this dish but it was my least favourite of the night. I didn’t feel it had the same excitement of flavour and texture that the other dishes had. 

  
 We chose 2 dishes from the josper menu.  Cauliflower steak ‘josperized’ with cured lemon butter, homemade labneh and toasted almonds. This dish came close to the beetroot dish for me as favourite of the night. I love cauliflower and this dish was a revelation. The flames of the oven really intensified the cauliflower flavour and the accompaniments, particularly the chopped tomato, made for a really interesting dish. 

  
Finally Shakshukit ( deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yoghurt, tahini and pita). You can’t really go wrong with minced lamb can you? No, good, we agree. 

  
After a bit of a breather, and another glass of prosecco…. The prosecco glasses were so beautiful, we just had to….. We shared a dessert. Jerusalem mess – Labneh mousse, almond crumble, strawberries, lemon cream, elderflower and apple jelly and fresh sorrel.  This was my kind of dessert. The sharpness of the lemon cream and the intense bursts of flavour in the elderflower and apple jelly cubes were a delight.  It was a perfect end to the evening. 

  
I want to visit The Palomar again. There is so much on the menu that intrigues me and that I want to eat.  Next time I’m going to book to sit at the bar. I can’t think of anything better than the buzz of eating food that has been prepared right in front of me.  

  

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