Small plates aren’t going anywhere. I’ll say it again, the whole small plates phenomenon wasn’t a flash in a pan we in London seem to like them. I’m not sure who loves them, although the Palomar is loved, it is handy if you need to eat and run. Especially if like me during a film festival you need to shovel food into your mouth, quicker than that guy of Man vs Food, and you’d anything than more chocolate. Yes, I did say instead of chocolate. OMG, I just became an adult! That’s how I found myself solo dining at the Palomar which happened to be a hop and skip away from the London Film Festival hub of the Picturehouse Central.
The Palomar is located on what was once a seedy street in Soho and well as with everything achingly hip. It does stand out though, that blue frontage and oh the mass of people huddled in front trying to get in. What I never understand is what is the point of standing somewhere even after you’ve heard the staff say the next table will be available in 2 hours. What is the point in waiting? Oh yes, and did I mention that this is a no reservation place, none, nada and no they don’t take your number – bye!
I skipped into the Palomar because it was during the day and spied one lonely bar stool at the bar. I was greeted with a smile and when I pointed at the stool was told ‘please’, that is always the right response. Now, I hate bar stools but as these ones are quite comfortable and padded. I didn’t see a single backside overspilling the minuscule surface area and as I couldn’t see my own it was fine. Even during the day, there is a buzz and as it is an open kitchen and bar that all the diners look at the noise levels are intense. There is a lot of ‘yes chef’ and yelling out the different dishes ordered. Everyone seems happy enough though. I got a quick explanation of how it all worked here and how many dishes to order – most of which I couldn’t hear but I nodded and smiled compliantly. What is great about eating at the bar is that you can see what others have ordered and given the close proximity, my hand almost landed on the man’s thigh sitting next to me (NOT ON PURPOSE), you can ask your fellow man what he ate.
The food is delicious at The Palomar as you would expect if like me you’re a Middle Eastern foodie addict. It comes quickly naturally – and is served in cute, copper pots. I had some lamb dish and hummus with something. If like me you have issues digesting bread, it is quite difficult because a lot of the dishes are served with mini naan and it needs that. The food is sauce heavy. Now, I wasn’t super hungry and I only really had fifty minutes between screenings in which to eat, rehydrate and pee in that order before sitting down again. If I was my usual hungry self I would have needed four dishes. All of those miniature pots food was served in, would have fit in the palm of my hand. Four dishes for a standard human.
Baby In The Corner? Well, there is only one bar and some mythical tables (I didn’t see them at all but there are two apparently). Even as bold as I am, I would not have insisted on a table, I was just happy to perch on a stool.
Pricey? It can get expensively quickly with all those small plates – that’s all I’m saying! Drink lots of water…
Where? 34 Rupert Street
How? A hop and skip from Piccadilly Circus (a 5 min walk – honestly)
Open When? midday to 11pm Mon to Sat (but they close from 2.30 – 5.30pm) and on Sunday 12ish to 9.30pm again with an afternoon rest
<a title=”Read SquareMeal’s review of The Palomar” href=”https://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurant/the-palomar?utm_source=Restaurant&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=Link”><img src=”https://www.squaremeal.co.uk/images/squaremeallogos/SquareMeal2018.png” width=”150″ height=”150″ alt=”The Palomar” /></a>