★★★★| Delicatessen, London
Walking up Roslyn Hill towards Hampstead Heath tube station you’ll walk by a restaurant that’s always full, and why? Because the food is delicious and the portions are huge!
Delicatessen, open since 2010, is modern Middle Eastern/Israeli cuisine at excellent prices. This neighbourhood restaurant, which was totally full (include the outside tables) on a Wednesday night that we went, has filled a gap for food of this very high quality and taste in this area.
Chef Or Golan, who has worked in some of Tel Aviv’s most popular restaurants, was most recently a head chef in one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s self-titled restaurants.
The food at Delicatessen is influenced by Golan’s Moroccan and Lebanese grandparents, so what is cooked straight from the kitchen and sent directly to your table is a mish-mash of extreme flavour & tastes that are bold and wonderful.
The Sashimi grade bluefin tuna starter was a feast for the eyes and the tongue. Chunks of tuna served with fennel, avocado, anchovies and bits of bruschetta, among many other herbs and spices, are included in this massively huge dish, and at only £12, it’s a steal. Also good value for the money also delicious to boot is the Golden Cauliflower with tahini and smoked Chilli. It was served very warm and soft, oven-baked, and was a huge mound for a mere £8.
As if we hadn’t enough food in our starters, our mains were even larger!
My dining companion’s Ras el hanut Lamb Chops were definitely too big for his, or anyone else’s, stomach! Five large chops are served over bulgar wheat, sprinkled with lavender and various greens, and one certainly gets what you pay for (£33). What was missing was any form of sauce, as the wheat became dry – perhaps applesauce would’ve gone perfectly with the lamb. My Old Jaffa Lamb Kebabs were very good. Served with tahini, sehug spice and baby vegetables, three very large and long kebabs were nicely cooked and delicious. The dish could’ve used some starch – perhaps a few potatoes or bulgar wheat, but it was very filling for its £24 price tag.
What took me and my friend for a loop was the Kadaif tower dessert. Yes, it was a tower and served with strawberries and cream. What is a kadaif you ask? It’s shredded filo dough, and in this dish there is cream in the middle that makes it look and feel like a sandwich. And it was superb – and large – and did I mention extremely delicious? And at £8.50, it’s a no-brainer choice for dessert. We also shared the Handmade Moroccan cigars (basically baklava), filled with nuts, and served with an amazing tasting mint tea. But it was the Kadaif that was memorable, amazing and wow!
Please have the wonderful Instant B Cotes de Provence Rosé wine with your meal, it’s wet, with a flowery taste that goes well with the fish and meats served on the menu. Or you can have one of Delicatessen’s speciality drinks, including the Msc mule, which was vodka and ginger ale and was very very good.
The menu at Delicatessen is just simply amazing. And while the prices aren’t cheap cheap, it’s the amount of food given that’s generous. We sat next to a table of two who had ordered the Mixed Grill – it was actually a mound of meat, with chicken thighs, kebabs, lamb chops, mergues & rib eye steak all for a wonderful price of £75. It appeared they could not finish it, and I am sure the took the rest home with them which probably fed them for a few more days. I will order this next time I go to Delicatessen.
With an amazingly knowledgeable and nice staff, very good food, large portions, all in a nicely remixed from the hustle and bustle location – what’s not to like? I’m definitely looking forward to my next visit to Delicatessen – it’s that mound of meat that I’ll make an attempt at – can’t wait!
46 Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead
London NW3 1NH, UK
020 7700 5511
Sun-Thu • 12:00 – 23:00
Fri • Closed
Sat • 18:00 – 23:00
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.