Five of the best places to try Israeli cuisine

After gaining popularity in the US, the food of Israel has begun to trickle onto the UK restaurant scene. Try your first bites in celebration of Hanukkah at these eateries.

A number of London eateries are offering a taste of Jerusalem (Creative Commons: Israel_photo_gallery)
A number of London eateries are offering a taste of Jerusalem (Creative Commons: Israel_photo_gallery)

The Palomar

The top dog on the ‘Jerusalem food’ scene is without a doubt The Palomar, the marble-clad Soho eatery that is a constant favourite among the capital’s food critics. Serving up dishes inspired by the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Levant (the western Middle East) , it was named Best Restaurant at the Observer Awards in October.

What’s on the menu?

Yiddish bruschetta with chicken liver pâté’; polenta ‘Jerusalem-style’ with asparagus and mushroom ragout; deconstructed kebab with minced meat’ and Jerusalem Mess - labneh mousse, almond crumble, strawberries, lemon cream, elderflower, apple jelly and fresh sorrel.

Where: 34 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DN

Contact: 0207 439 8777

@Honeyandco

@Honeyanco

Honey & Co

Honey & Co is the venture of husband and wife Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, who trained as a chef in Tel Aviv. Although closed on Sunday, the Big Breakfast menu on Saturdays alone should see diners comfortably through the week. A catering service is also available for events.

What’s on the menu?

Cinnamon spiced falafel, warm lentil stew with burnt aubergine, tahini and egg; prawn hot pot; and saffron-poached pears.

Where: 25a Warren Street, London W1T 5LZ

Contact: 0207 388 6175

Zest

This restaurant/cafe/bar is located on the ground floor of JW3 - Jewish Community Centre London - on the Finchley Road. Coining its menu as ‘Jewish cuisine, re-imagined’, Dan Burrell’s casual Tel Aviv vibe offers up lunch, dinner and brunch, with a bottomless version of the latter available on Sundays.

What’s on the menu?

Veggie burger with cumin-roast portobello, goat’s cheese and red onion marmalade; fillets of seabass with fennel pollen, orange and grape and butterbean braise; and stuffed globe artichoke with freekah, chickpeas and a pomegranate and walnut salad.

Where: 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

Contact: 020 7433 8955

@MishkinsWC2

Mishkin's

Ezra Mishkin’s namesake, non-Kosher eatery has existed in Soho for some 80 years, currently offering a taste of Jerusalem by way of New York via tapas and drinks. The space can be hired for events and is perfect for parties with a love of mixology; Ezra’s Green Rose, Mishkin’s Ice Tea and the Maple Old Fashioned all provide a twist on the classic cocktail list, while a capacious gin menu is on offer for the G&T traditionalists.

What’s on the menu?

Spicy burnt end croquettes; lamb, feta and white bean hummus; turkey schnitzel and creamed corn; and cod cheek popcorn.

Where: 25 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JS

Contact: 0207 240 2078

Ottolenghi

The UK king of Israeli food, Yotam Ottolenghi, now has three kitchens to his name in the capital. Ottolenghi in Spitalfields is the newest of these and can sit up to 70 people at both tables and the bar. The restauranteur’s empire also runs to an in-house deli, which offers a pack-and-go counter service, and a catering business.

What’s on the menu?

Seared scallops with corn polenta; BBQ quail with greengage relish and celeriac salad; and tea-smoked lamb cutlets with burnt aubergine, jalapeno sauce and pickled lotus root.

Where: 50 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LJ

Contact: 0201 247 1999

More: Five places to visit for great Italian food

Five Scandinavian eateries to try

Five of London's best steaks

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