‘Get Up I feel like being a Sexmachine….’
All photos in this post belong to NHYM, Copyright 2015.
34 Rupert Street
London W1D 6DN
Tel…0207 439 8777
Food: 4 stars
Design: 4 stars
Value: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars
The open plan kitchen. NHYM
As I walked into the cramped Palomar restaurant the other night, the song ‘Get up (I feel like being a) Sexmachine’ by James Brown was blaring into my ears, while the trendy, hipster chefs with their requisite beards were frantically putting on a show of cooking skills as well as ‘hisptertaining’ ie. entertaining us non-hipsters on how to be hipsters. The Palomar is the latest of the uber-trendy restaurants; half-club, half diner, throw in some Middle Eastern sharing plates, hipster staff and a raw bar and I can’t think of anything hipper it could do. Chiltern may be the most papped, but the foodie hipsters are now heading out in droves to this restaurant. From the founders of Israeli’s hippest restaurant, Machneyuda, it’s easy to see how they got their formula right. After James Brown funk, Lou Reed seductively invites you to take a Walk on the Wild Side, which clearly sets the tone for this restaurant.
Kubaneh Bread. NHYM 2015.
The restaurant is a lot smaller than I expected. Up front is the long bar/kitchen where you can sit perched on stools looking at where the magic takes place, the music making the atmosphere, whereas in the back are a few tables, perhaps 10 in total, which is the more quiet, subdued version of the same restaurant. The music is louder, the colours stronger and the experience more technicolour in front, including the pink neon sign, whereas the back is where you can hear yourselves speak. And you know how I am with loud music… https://nottinghillmummy.com/2015/02/05/you-know-youre-middle-aged-when/. So we ended up with a corner, romantic, candle-lit table rather than a back-breaking stool, music-deafening experience.
Shakshukit, the deconstructed kebab. NHYM 2015.
The food started out very good with the delicious Kubaneh Yemeni buttered bread which curbed by carb-addiction, and sweet potato crisps. We ordered the Kubenia steak starter with pine nuts and the Octopus with chickpeas and yogurt, which I very much enjoyed, although Mr. X didn’t love the steak tartare as much as I do. We followed this by the Pork Belly Tagine and the Shakshukit, described as a ‘deconstructed kebab,’ all of which were good, not earth-shattering, but the latter pleasingly spice-full of harissa and tahini. Of course Middle Eastern food is all the rage with Yotam Ottolenghi leading the way with his restaurants and upscale ‘delis’ all over London (where mashed potatoes probably cost £30), so this is right ‘on trend,’ and it’s cool atmosphere has all the food critics singing its praises. One even went as far as to say that it is one of the most interesting restaurant experience in all of London right now.
The Bar. NHYM 2015.
The Palomar is a great new restaurant especially for the foodie fans of Machneyuda. It’s fun and tasty, both in food and atmosphere, so you can’t go too wrong. If you’re going to be in the neighbourhood anyway, it’s definitely worth a go. It may be a little too hyped for its own good though. I would say ‘Go’ but not, ‘YOU HAVE TO GO!’ Therefore for those giving it mixed reviews, I think it’s because our expectations are just a little too high for this place. So keep your expectations low, and you will be happily surprised.