I can now sleep sound at night, I too have been to The Palomar, and back.
Been on the foodie hit list since it’s opening in May last year, I can reveal, what is already known, it’s block rockin’.
This was a 30th birthday present from my work, so thanks boss, great choice! (Chosen due to my known love for Bocca di Lupo.) Sit at the counter, check, watch the cooking happen, check, small plates to share, check, brilliant staff, check.
Went on a Wednesday lunchtime so as to try and catch it when it was just busy, rather than busy-busy. Last lunch sitting is 14.30 and I got there at 14.15 and took the only two available seats at the counter, for which there’s a no booking policy. There is also some table seating to the rear, but come on, you know better than that.
My date was late so I treated myself to a reception cocktail, involving sloe gin, Campari, lemon juice, bitters and soda, pretty bold choice, huh? Well it was, and it paid off. They had a really original cocktail list, I could have tried them all!
We ordered our food from the head chef as he was standing right there! Everything we had was delish, can I say “delish” without being hated? Probably not. We had Yiddish bruschetta, sashimi, broccoli & pak choi, and the standout octopus risotto!! – I don’t think I’ve ever had octopus apart from in an octopus ball, that actually put me off the sea creature, but I gave it a second chance and I have no regrets – real chunks of the stuff which were proper meaty! Beautiful Rioja suggestion from the waiter; all the staff had good character and it was great to watch them do their thing, in fact, they were a big part of what made the place so delightful to be a part of for a couple of hours, and it was a really nice touch when the waiter relocated us to the kitchen end of the bar when seats became available – it really added to our experience.
We were the last customers to file out from lunch service but the staff made no attempt to hurry us up (says the blissfully unaware ;-)), and as the lunch service unfolded in front of our eyes, it was also interestingly cool to see the staff prep for evening service.
Price up: We had 1 x cocktail, 2 x Prosecco, olives, 1 bottle of wine, three small plates, one bigger plate, 1 x dessert, and with service, it came to £110. I had a £100 gift voucher to blow, but I love it enough to go back without the voucher in my pocket, although spending my own ££ I may cut down on the booze and go for three of the bigger plates and see what stomachs were saying after that, probably,”more booze and more food please”.
There was so much on the menu we wanted to try, the deconstructed kebab looked like a crowd-pleaser. Oh and I have to mention the dessert because it made my friend so charmingly happy, “I didn’t even know I wanted this, this much!”, it had creaminess, crunch, and raspberries = winner.
Palomar is great to have in your locker for when you are out to impress.
Trivia: One of the guys behind the restaurant is Layo (of Layo & Bushwacka) and used to own The End night club – what a club that was, spent my 18th there!! So cheers Layo, you’ve had a hand in two of my birthday milestone celebrations!