15 May 2018
A cuisine without borders, Israeli food and chefs have become quite the hot ticket and its certainly the case at the recently-opened Delicatessen in Hampstead. This neighbourhood restaurant on Rosslyn Hill has been quietly building up a legion of loyal fans who come for its modern Middle Eastern food, warm, all-inclusive approach and welcoming décor.
Israeli-born executive chef, Or Golan, has worked in some of Tel Aviv’s most celebrated restaurants, including Brasserie M&R, before moving to London where he became Yotam Ottolenghi’s head chef.
The menu is influenced not only by Golan’s mentors, but by his Moroccan and Lebanese grandparents. ‘Newish Jewish’ dishes reflect this bubbling hotpot of cultures as well as the merging of two heritages – the vibrant spices and flavours of the Sephardic Middle East (Levant, North Africa, Southern Spain) with the Ashkenazi dishes of Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland and Germany.
Extravagantly flavoured dishes transcend their humble roots, are earthy, punchy and designed for sharing, synonymous with the Middle Eastern way of dining.
Mezze-style sharing plates, the smart sociable choice, are brought to the centre of the table and feature the likes of golden cauliflower with tahini & smoked chilli; beef carpaccio with truffles and artichoke; green falafel and tahini; and burnt aubergine with tahini and figs. Breads such as Yemenite kubaneh, a pull-apart yeast bread, and laffa, an Israeli flat bread, will have you ditching those no carb resolutions!
The focus on bold flavours continues with mains such as ras el hanout lamb chops, with lavender, wheat broth & lamb; a traditional Palestinian dish of chicken mesachen with sumac, zaatar, seared laffa and rose petals; and seabass with burnt tomato and tahini siniya. Carnivores will embrace the mixed grill for two – a platter piled high with chicken thighs, kebabs, lamb chops, merguez and a rib eye steak whilst, at the other end of the spectrum, there’s a wheat broth with burnt vegetables, tahini and harissa for vegans.
Satisfy a sweet tooth with malabi, a luscious Middle Eastern milk pudding with passion fruit, rose petals, coconut and nut brittle; a Belgian chocolate mousse with sea salt, thyme & tahini soil or basbousa (semolina cake) with tahini semifreddo, raspberry and lemon coulis and mint jelly.
The short wine list features bins from Israel, France, Spain and the States with a focus on robust reds, perfectly suited to Delicatessen’s rich, flavoursome dishes. Cocktails are given a fresh, exotic twist with a Middle Eastern pomegranate Sangria; whilst traditional Turkish coffee and mint tea are the perfect end to the meal.
FRIDAYS A GO GO
Every Friday, Delicatessen is transformed into The Deli, offering Friday lunch as well as Shabbat dinner to-go. Shelves groan with beautiful, flavoursome dishes; from sensational Sephardi salads, vibrant mezze and generous mains through to classic Ashkenazi staples. Dishes change weekly, but expect to find a traditional chicken soup (Jewish penicillin) sitting alongside vibrant salads such as roasted aubergine and chermoula and family-style mains of whole roast chicken with Israeli cous cous and herbs or chicken pastille with dried fruits.
PRIVATE PARTIES AND EVENTS
With their ethos rooted in Middle Eastern hospitality and large plentiful dishes to share, this Deli-style food is perfect for dinner parties and celebratory events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs. This summer, Delicatessen will offer barbecue parties featuring delicious grills, shawarma stations and salads galore. Simply enquire onlinewww.delicatessen.company, or call 020 7700 5511.
Delicatessen – Middle Eastern food made with love.
46 Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, NW3 1NH
020 7700 5511 email@example.com