The Palomar
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Address: 34 Rupert St, London, England W1D 6DN (Cross street: Shaftesbury Ave)
Neighbourhood: Soho (Central)
Specifics: Eclectic
Phone: 020 7439 8777
Cost: ££££
Website: thepalomar.co.uk
Restaurants Open-kitchen gastroexperimentation.

    
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Posted by:  Claire Storrow

"Shall we go in?" we looked at each other doubtfully. It was 6:15pm on a Thursday night and the dining bar at The Palomar was already rammed. I almost abandoned the idea because I hate this "stand-at-the-bar-while-you-wait" culture which is so common now (you can book tables at The Palomar but it takes months to get one). We stood scrunched up against the wall agreeing that if we got through the first drink and there were still no seats available, we would go somewhere else. But within about 20 minutes, we were shown to our places - a front row seat in the theatre that is the open kitchen at The Palomar. And honestly, listening to and watching the banter amongst the chefs is worth the wait alone, every so often, the head chef singing along with Elvis playing on the sound system, slightly discordantly, but with such chutzpah you can't not smile. You can't not smile when you taste the food either--the humble butternut squash risotto was elevated to another level, the octo-hummous was compelling, and the onglet steak (with latkes, fried egg and bone marrow) sublime. I was slightly disappointed by the shakshukit (deconstructed kebab) as it was quite oily and heavy but perhaps the bar had been raised too high as I also found the halva cream brownie relatively underwhelming. Dinner wasn't cheap at £57 each but that included two cocktails apiece and service. I will definitely return and wait patiently for my seat at the bar.

Photo:  Claire Storrow
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