Category Archives: London

The Palomar, Soho London

The Palomar is one of the hippest new restaurants in Soho and has been high on my to-go-to list ever since it opened in June this year. It is run by two Israeli-born nightclub entrepreneurs and serves the food of modern day Jerusalem. They say their menu is influenced by the cultures of Spain, North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean.

The Palomar is a pretty small bar-restaurant with a hip but intimate vibe. As soon as you walk in you are confronted one, by the very welcoming wait staff and two, you can’t miss the long 16 seat bar/kitchen that overlooks the chefs preparing the food. The dining room at the back of the room can seat up to 40 people and the Palomar takes bookings, which is always a huge winner in my books!

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So I went to The Palomar recently with a friend before going to the theatre (yes, they take a 5.30pm pre-theatre booking at the bar, whoop!) The menu is based on small dishes made for sharing which suited us perfectly.

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We started off with some spiced olives (£3) and their ‘Yemeni-style’ Kubaneh bread (£5), which is a yeast baked bread in a tin. It’s tipped out in front of you while still piping hot, so you can then tear it into bite sized pieces to drunk into the rich tahini and tomato dips. A bit brioche-like in texture, absolutely delicious!

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Next up we chose two items from the Raw Bar – confusingly, the dishes aren’t all raw, but are served cold; the Salmon Tartare (£8.5) with aubergine 2 ways. yoghurt, pine nuts & parsley and the Fattoush salad (£8) with tomato, cucumber, za’atar, sumac, pita croutons & homemade labneh. The Salmon Tartare was incredible and looked so pretty! I love raw salmon and the soft smokey aubergine puree went with it perfectly. The Fattoush salad was simple but tasty.

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Following this we had two picks from the Stove part of the menu;  the Seared scallops (£12.5) with cured lemon beurre blanc, swiss chard easy over, Jerusalem artichoke & hazelnut tuille and the Pork belly Tajine (£14) with Ras el Hanout, dried apricots & Israeli couscous.

Both huge hits in our books. The scallops were soft and that hazelnut tuille, yum! The pork belly tajine was rich, sweet, sticky and spicy all at once and was a pretty decent sized dish as it came with lots of flavourful fluffy couscous.

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Because we were seated at the bar we saw the chefs preparing a lot of the food (while chatting to us in the meantime) and some of the other dishes on the menu, like the Shakshukit (deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yoghurt & tahini) and the Labenah tortellini with butternut squash cream, tomatoes, confit garlic & mange tout looked delicious too. Oh well, for us (or you) to try next time!

We were actually quite happily full at this point but decided we couldn’t resist dessert. After a bit of a discussion with the chef’s on recommendations we decided on the Malabi Rose-scented milk pudding (£7) raspberry coulis, coconut meringue pistachio crunch, fresh raspberries & kataifi and the Chocolate Cremeux (£7) Puffed rice crunch, pomegranate coulis, cocoa tuile & almond streusel.

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And WOW, both of these were absolutely insane. I have to admit that the rose-scented milk pudding wasn’t sounding like a winner to me initially but with the crunchy topping and the fresh berries it was soft and refreshing and not to overpowering on the rose flavour. The chocolate dessert however sounded like a true champion from the start and didn’t fail to impress! It was a true melt-in-your-mouth chocolate pudding and one of the best desserts I’ve enjoyed in a little while.

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All together we had a great evening at The Palomar. The staff was all very friendly, helpful and fun and seem to have a real passion for what they do. The food was delicious, of a very high standard and culinarily exciting. Plus I think it was good value for money because the sharing plates were of a decent size and after enjoying all these dishes we were actually super-duper full, but happy I must add. Think this is one new restaurant in London you will just have to try. NOPI (by Ottolenghi) has always been a huge favourite in my books for Soho, but would have to say the Palomar is now topping very high in that list too.

The Palomar
34 Rupert Street,
W1D 6DN, London
Phone: 020 7439 8777
www.thepalomar.co.uk

  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Hereford Road Restaurant, Bayswater / Notting Hill

A little while back I had a great evening with friends at Hereford Road in Bayswater. This restaurant is a real local gem because it serves simple yet innovative British comfort food, has friendly and efficient service and reasonable prices. Tom Pemberton, former head chef at St Johns has cooked at Hereford Road since its opening in 2007. Don’t expect anything hip and trendy here – it’s a lovely low-key local, perfect for a dinner with friends or family in a nice environment with quality flavourful food. The menu at Hereford changes daily and dishes are reasonably priced from £6-£8 for starters and £10-£15.5 for mains.  Also, there is a great value set lunch for £13.50 for 2 and £15.5 for 3 courses.

Chef and co-founder Tom Pemberton remarks, “It seems to me the area lacks a strong neighbourhood restaurant. Our main priority is to provide genuinely high quality, interesting and affordable British food in a relaxed environment.”

Here some photos of our evening at Hereford Road in Notting Hill…

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As soon as you enter Hereford Road you stumble across the open kitchen and some casual small tables that are perfect for a casual drink and dinner for two. And then down a small flight of stairs is the main dining room, that is light due to a large skylight. It was a very relaxed vibe and seating wise has large red leather banquettes or 2 – 4 person sized tables.

We started off with some wine, freshly baked bread (nom nom) and some starters; the Globe artichoke with vinaigrette and the Crab with English Tomatoes and Pea Shoots.

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For mains we went for a nice selection of different meats! Little fact; before Hereford Road was a restaurant there was actually a butchers in this location.  We had the Braised Rabbit with Fennel and Bacon // The Guinea Fowl with Lentils and peas // The Roast Leg of Lamb with Chard and Anchovy // and the Blythburg Pork Belly with Runner Beans and roast Red Onion.

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They were all delicious. I had the lamb which it was perfectly cooked and the salty anchovies flavour accompanied the meat very well. But think I did have slight food envy for the pork belly – that definitively looked and tasted amazing.

Then some of us couldn’t resist a cheeky dessert, yes…I was one of those people! I had the chocolate pot with cherries and creme fraiche, oh so yummy – and my friend had the Eton Mess which is simple but sometimes you can’t beat fruit, cream and meringue goodness.

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Overall a great night at a lovely bistro in Notting Hill / Baywater!

Hereford Road
3 Hereford Road,
Notting Hill, London
W2 4AB
Tel: +44(0)207 727 1144
www.herefordroad.org

  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Berners Tavern – The London EDITION Hotel

Berners Tavern is one of the restaurants opened last year by chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton. In London alone he’s responsible for Pollen Street Social, Social Eating House, Little Social, City Social and the Typing Room. I haven’t actually been to any of these before but have read many good reviews and his food can be described as modern British. Berners Tavern had been high on my to-go-to list ever since it opened so when it was my 30th birthday back in August I felt this would be perfect occasion to have my celebration dinner here with my parents and one of my best friends.

Berners Tavern is located in The London EDITION Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia, with the all day dining restaurant seating up to 140 covers within a grand dining room. The dining room is visually stunning with its very high ceiling and walls covered with framed art – very nice!

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Under the direction of Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton, the menu offers contemporary British food that is simple yet elegant and executed beautifully. We started off with a bottle of wine and some bread while we browsed over the menu.

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For starters we had the: Aged beef tartare, wild garlic, salsa verde, chopped duck egg and croutons £13.50 // Charred Corning mackerel, fennel carrot and orange salad, romesco sauce and toasted almonds £12 // Middle white pork and pistachio, pear and saffron chutney and toasted sourdough £11.50.

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All very delicious! For mains we had the; Chargrilled Dingley Dell pork chop, pickled kohlrabi, apple and chicory salad, bramley apple and colman’s mustard puree, crispy cheek £24 // Roasted Goosnargh chicken, BBQ spiced chicken tigh, sage and onion, butters gnocchi and heritage carrots £23 // Cornish cod, Borlotti bean, courgette and chorizo ‘minestrone’, piquillo peper £22.50 // Grass fed british steak cooked on their Josper grill, served with triple cooked chips, salad and a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce (sirloin £30)

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I had the pork which the waiter recommended and it was divine! We were pretty full after all that food but I find it hard to resist dessert and seeing it was my birthday I decided to get the Scottish raspberry pavlova, vanilla cream with red wine and raspberry granite (£8) and shared it with my dad. When I first looked at the dessert options nothing actually screamed out at me but the pavlova was very nice and think that would have probably been the case with the other desserts too.

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Overall we had a great time at Berners. The setting is beautiful, the food is delicious and the service impressive. For a nice and special evening out I’d say Berners Tavern is hard to beat! If you’re up for a bigger night out then after dinner you can continue to enjoy a drink at the Bar or head to the Punch Room next door at the London EDITION Hotel for a cocktail or two :)

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Have you tried Berners Tavern or one of Jason Atherton’s other restaurants yet?

BERNERS TAVERN
10 Berners Street,
London W1T 3NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7908 7979
www.bernerstavern.com

  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Brunch at Hally’s Parsons Green

Going out for brunch is probably one of my favourite past-times in the weekend, so I love finding out about new good places to visit. One of these new places I recently was told about is Hally’s Parsons Green. Hally’s opened in June 2013 on New Kings Road and says it’s a “A Californian-inspired hangout– all about innovative, fresh food, expertly-made coffee & a relaxed vibe.” So this long weekend I braved it through the rain and wind on my bike (and got soaked in the process) to meet some friends for brunch at Hally’s. I was told it was “epic” so as you can imagine I had high expectations.

Turns out a lot of people seem to think it is epic because there was a bit of a wait to get a table when we got there, but we were able to shelter from the rain inside and the staff was friendly in looking after us to get us a table as soon as possible. I love the casual, white and beach house style design of the café and don’t even get me started on those pastel paint-dipped vintage style chairs.

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Hally’s Parsons Green is open Monday to Sunday 8am to 6pm and during the week they serve breakfast daily from 8am and lunch from 12 to 4pm. However of course I was there for the main event that is their weekend brunch. Their (8am-4pm) brunch menu changes weekly is full of great dishes like; healthy granola, eggs benedict, american pancakes, smoked salmon with cream cheese and of course a full breakfast. We got coffee, fresh mint tea and fresh juices while we caught up and made our mind up on what to eat.

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In the end we all had the same food craving. Can you guess? Yep…. it was the avocado on sourdough with chilli, lemon and rocket that we all wanted. However we were hungry girls so we added some sides!

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….just to prove there was a-whole-lot of avocado underneath that rocket salad!

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Mine was with the poached eggs and chorizo. Amelia had the same but with bacon instead of chorizo and Krystle got her eggs scrambled and also with chorizo! The rocket salad on top of the avocado was really refreshing and we were all amazed by how orange the egg yolks were – think that means they are very organic/free range eggs which is nice!  We probably didn’t need all those extra sided but oh boy was it tasty :)

We had a fabulous time at Hally’s and think I will definitely be back to try some of the other dishes on the menu! Have you been to this little brunch/lunch gem in Parsons Green yet? Check it out – it’s epic ;)

Hally’s
60 New Kings Road
Parsons Green
London, SW6 4LS
www.hallysparsonsgreen.com

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Dom Pérignon Rosé Creative Combustion at Magazine Restaurant

Back in March Dom Pérignon invited nine of the world’s most innovative chefs to a three-day ‘Creative Combustion’ workshop in Paris that saw each creative talent inspire the other to create their own Creative Combustion Rosé Paradox Menu around the latest Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003.

One of those chef’s was Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lange from London, who is head chef at The Magazine. The Magazine is a stunning restaurant in Hyde Park based in the Serpentine Gallery that has been on my list to visit for a while. The setting is bright and modern and the menu is fusion food with heavy Japanese influences.  Following the Dom Pérignon  Paradox experience, Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lange created his own Rosé Paradox Menu, which will be introduced at his restaurant, The Magazine for the month of September. Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lang says about his creation: “A fun, explosive menu inspired and  created by combining global flavours.” The other night I was invited to try this beautiful new menu accompanied of course by plenty of Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003. Here are some photos of the night!

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Before sitting down at our table we all admired the restaurant while enjoying a glass of Dom Pérignon and some delicious canapés; an aubergine beef tartare spoon and a crab donut style bun. The aubergine beef tartare was so good, I may have had a few of those spoons.

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Once seated at our table, the head chef Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lange (and creator of the menu) welcomed us and spoke about his inspiration for all the dishes. First up was an Amuse Bouche which was a little pastry style cone filled with something tasty. Terrible I know but I can’t actually remember what it was. Next up was a plate of Sashimi Hamachi Ceviche Style with Scallop Crisp and Mango.

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How beautiful does this plate look? It was almost too pretty to touch. This was maybe one of my favourite dishes of the night, I love ceviche and sashimi and this fresh combination with the mango was delicious and it literally melted in your mouth.

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Then it was sushi time. I love sushi so this selection to share was right up my street. The selection was: Big Volcano Roll // Spicy Tuna and Crispy Ginger // Smoked Trout and Shiso Roll // Surf’n Turf Roll // Salmon Nigiri and Saikyo Miso. All equally as delicious!

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The main dish of the Creative Combustion menu is Pigeon with Brioche and Mushroom Essence. This dish is from Nenad the 2 star chef from Switzerland who also took part in the workshop. Pigeon is not something I eat every day of the week so it’s really nice to have something different when you’re out. If you haven’t had pigeon before, you should definitely try it next time you spot it on a menu. It has quite a rich, gamey flavour to it – a bit like dark chicken or duck. Hard to describe really, but just try it and let me know what you think! This dish was definitely delicious and a favourite for many of the guests that evening.

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For dessert it was back to sharing. Now I very much like my desserts so my sharing partner that night probably wasn’t lucky to have me on his side ;) The three desserts as part of the menu (from top to bottom in photos) are: Fromage Blanc with Pomello and Almond // Poached Apricot, yeasted Miso crème and vanilla // Beetroot, yoghurt and blackberry.

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I am normally more a chocolate dessert kind of girl but have to say these desserts were deliciously refreshing.  My favourite was the poached apricot with the citrusy fromage blanc a close second! Together we certainly emptied those 3 bowls pretty quickly.

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We all had an amazing night – great food, incredible champagne and a gorgeous setting. What more can you want? The menu is perfectly crafted to be enjoyed with the dark jewel that is the Dom Pérignon Rosé as “Dom Pérignon Rose 2003 adds freshness and vibrancy to the protein-rich textures and accompanies the discovery of each flavour.”

The Paradox Dom Pérignon Rosé Creative Combustion Menu will be served at The Magazine exclusively throughout September. Price per person is £250, including a glass of Dom Pérignon Rose Vintage 2003 to accompany each course. So if you are looking for something really special in September this would make a pretty amazing option!

Pre-booking through Magazine Restaurant only on:
Tel: 020 7298 7552
www.serpentinegalleries.org/restaurant

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants