Delicatessen Hampstead restaurant review
Thanks to the success of chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi (behind London’s Ottolenghi restaurant group) and restaurants including The Palomar in Soho, Israeli food is becoming increasingly well-represented in the capital. We sample the menu at one of London’s latest ventures, founded by an ex-Ottolenghi head chef and only minutes away from beautiful Hampstead Heath.
Opened in early 2018, Delicatessen has a prime position on leafy Pilgrim’s Place, a short walk from both Hampstead Underground and the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath. Inside, it’s informal and friendly with bare wooden tables and simple decoration.
This laid-back look allows executive chef Or Golan’s food to grab all your attention, which it certainly will if you enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine. Delicatessen follows the dining traditions of the region, with small plates of food placed in the centre of the table to share. On our visit however, these portions were still quite large (but reasonably priced) so make sure you arrive hungry.
Choices include seabream carpaccio (thin slices of raw fish) with tomato seeds, green chilli, pine nuts and black truffle (£12), Jaffa-style lamb kebabs with tahini (£8.50) and a mixed grill of chicken thighs, kebabs, lambs chops, merguez (spicy lamb and beef sausage) and rib eye steak to share (£70). We urge you to order the smoky, creamy and crunchy tanned aubergine (£8.50) – the vegetable is peeled and ‘tanned’ (grilled then roasted) and showered with tahini, figs, tomatoes and mixed nuts (above).
The average price for a sharing dish is £8 (or larger, main-course plates are approximately £25 each) which makes it easy to try a few different items, while warm pita bread served in a brown bag is a delicious way to scoop up all the different sauces.
There’s a strong community feel to Delicatessen, which makes it a genuinely welcoming, interesting option if you’re in the area. We recommend requesting a seat by the front-facing windows, so you can watch the comings and goings of this affluent part of London.