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Helena Lang and chum Kirsten snuck in a delicious Middle Eastern supper in between browsing the rails at Zara, Jigsaw and Uniqlo
Where the shops and cafes dwindle out at the western end of High Street Kensington but only a short walk from the Tube and the rather-less-rammed-than-Oxford-Street boutiques and high street favourites.
The head chef Tomer Amedi was a co-founder and chef at hipster Soho destination restaurant Palomar. His Levantine influences continue at Pascor, which means ‘to indulge’ in Latin, and his Middle Eastern recipes are interpreted here in a fresh and modern way.
Friendly, informal and buzzing with post-shopping girly couples, groups of colleagues and local families. There are tables outside on the pavement for sultry evening dining or a sunny lunch, and inside around the bar and open kitchen. Upstairs there’s room for bigger groups. The service is warm and friendly but also super efficient.
We kicked off with some marinated olives and a plump plait of homemade challah bread, which came with little dishes of tahini dips. Whilst we sipped a delicious rose – an Italian Tormaresca Rosato – we chose a selection of small sharing plates off the short but perfectly formed menu for supper.
First off, some chubby samneh butter scallops, whose tender little bodies were snuggled into a chard leak cream. Yummy. Then a couple of lamb cutlets, which had been smothered in a Persian 7-spice rub then flame grilled. These were tender, juicy and delicious. Stars of the show, however, were the two plant-based dishes – a ‘burnt’ aubergine was soft, silky and smoky on a bed of rich black tahini and scattered with pine nuts, pickled tomatoes, mint and capers. The other was charcoaled mushroom houmous – perfect for scooping with more of the challah bread.
There are three desserts on the menu: one chocolate one, one fruity one, but we picked the nutty one – a financier basbousa – essentially a slice of almond, coconut and semolina cake served with a honeyed ricotta. Between the two of us, it was a couple of spoonfuls of delicious sweetness to end the meal.
High Street Kensington is a bit off the beaten track for those who live outside the centre of town but is a good area for browsing the shops, and Pascor offers visitors and locals alike a great place to sip wine, chat, nibble and relax at reasonable prices.
Those umami-rich blackened mushrooms – so good I want the recipe!
Visit pascor.co.uk or call 020 7937 3003