This was my third time at Palomar Soho, and I can’t say that about any restaurants in London apart from our local pub, we go to very often, and Berners Tavern, where I have been way too many times, despite the food being mediocre and also Chiltern Firehouse, as visitors from the US seem to want to keep going to those two spots.
But Palomar is one of the few places I LOVE and crave eating the food again the moment I leave the restaurant. It has happened to me with other restaurants but the second visit usually disappointed and then I haven’t returned. Palomar delivers, always.
My main comment is that I love it, but it must really be experienced in the right way. You need to sit at the counter and not at the tables in the back. We sat at the counter the first time and then this time, and the chef was super interactive. You can watch the magic happening and drool over the fresh food being prepared in front of you.
This time around I tried to eat things that I had not tried, and the chef made that easier by putting a large number of new dishes on the menu.
What we ate
THE BREAD: I have this every time. It is impossible to pass on as it is one of the best breads ever. Freshly baked, warm and decadent.
Salmon Tartare with aubergine 2 ways, yoghurt, pine nuts & parsley: the aubergine is barely detectable but the salmon is so interesting with such a unique flavour combination and richness from the yoghurt while still being light and fresh.
Cauliflower “Steak” josperised with cured lemon butter, house-made labneh & toasted almonds: they place almost the whole cauliflower in the josper over (the darling of London restaurants these days) and slather with lemon and the rest of the accoutrements. Once again, they are so creative with the flavour combinations it just blows you away. Despite how large the portion was, and the simplicity of the dish, I kept going back for more.
Polenta Jerusalem style with asparagus, mushroom ragout, parmesan and truffle oil: I had ordered this in the past and despite how much I loved it, didn’t order again but the chef sent us a small portion as a gift and this time, added small bacon crumbs on top. So indulgent and delicious and extremely mushroomy as I can’t ever get enough of them!
Octo-hummus: Josperised octopus “steak” chickpea msabacha & cherry tomato confit: I had tried the previous octopus dish they had on the menu and had not loved it. This one was insanely good. They cooked it for a long time in a fairly complicated way that they explained, but that sounded so difficult that I gave up trying to understand. What matters is that it resulted in the most tender and tasty octopus which was served with msabacha which is an Israeli hummus and tomato confit. I barely paid attention to what it was with as I just had eyes for the octopus.
Butternut Squash Risotto with mangetout, pine nuts & parmesan labneh foam: very fun presentation with the risotto “falling” from the copper pot. Extremely creamy and maybe a bit too wintery for the season but totally delicious …..
Knafeh Kataifi & goat’s cheese pastry, whipped cream & pulverised pistachios: this is what our waiter/manager suggested and it is a shredded filo pastry nest with goat cheese centre, slathered with syrup and the rest… since I had not tried before we went for it. Was very interesting, which usually is a way of describing something you don’t love. But this was tasty and unique, with the goat’s cheese almost resembling a burrata in texture. But, I am a chocolate girl at heart and would likely go back to their chocolate concoction of choice next time.
In sum: divine, delicious, tasty, and I can’t wait to return, again and again!
The Palomar Soho http://thepalomar.co.uk/
34 Rupert Street London W1D 6DN
+44 (0)207 439 8777