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    Sunday, 1 July 2018

    WHY YOU NEED TO GET DOWN TO DELICATESSEN IN HAMPSTED ASAP

    Do you know the tell-tale sign of a good restaurant? When it's packed, on a mid-week evening, with local punters. That's how you know a restautant has created something truly special.

    It's almost like a community. Hoards of people coming through the door, being greeted by the waiters like they're old friends. And that's exactly the vibe I got when I visited Delicatessen in leafy Hampstead last week and exactly the reason why I know I'll be going back, time and again.

    The restaurant is run by Executive Chef Or Golan (who previously worked under the master that is Ottolenghi) where he serves up incredible modern Israeli cuisine...

    all washed down with glasses of deliciously crisp Israeli wine.

    It's a great restaurant for a date or special occasion so worth dressing up for!
    What I'm Wearing: Blazer, Bodysuit*, Jeans, Sandals, Handbag

    All the food is Kosher (obvs) and made for sharing. Be sure to arrive hungry as the portions are HUGE (even by my standards) and you won't want to miss a single dish!

    There's expertly sliced Beef carpaccio topped with truffles & artichoke salsa (£12)

    And a wafer thin seabass version, absolutely bejeweled with fresh herbs and nuts


    You have to try the slow cooked and pulled salt beef schnitzel (£12)...

    and the tanned aubergine (£9) which comes served to your table in a huge saucepan. It's got the softest, creamiest texture and tastes divine topped with tahini, figs & mixed nuts.

    The Yemenite Kubaneh (£6.50) is a traditional pull-apart, yeast based bread - served here with fried peppers, tahini & grated tomato, ready for dunking into its delicious accompanying sauce.

    Houmous fans are in luck as there's two on offer. The first is served with whole chickpeas (masabacha style) with tahini & harissa for a little kick...

    and the second is topped with confit lamb and crackling (£11) - a meat lover's dream.

    Both come served with warm, pillowy breads so you can scoop up every last bit. 
    We also tried the chicken pastilla - made with flaky golden pastry and dried fruits. It's sadly been taken off the menu now but there's still plenty of incredible dishes for you to try.

    It's not just mezze-style dishes at Delicatessen though. There's also the option for more robust main courses too. 

    I loved the Moroccan chicken meatballs (£25) which come served in a silver dish with fresh Jerusalem artichoke, chunky lemons and basmati rice.

    The chicken thigh shawarma is also fab (£26) and comes served piled high on a seared laffa bread with sumac onions.


    I'm not usually a huge duck fan but I really enjoyed the seared duck breast here. It's served with a celeriac puree and heritage carrots (£28) and is nothing like the fatty duck dishes I've tried before.

    Veggies are also well catered for with a menu packed with falafels, mushroom gnocchi and this incredible golden cauliflower dish topped with tahini & smoked chilli (£8).

    The real main event though is for the meat-eaters and it comes in the form a giant mixed grill. For £75, you're presented with a tray filled to the brim with chicken thighs, lamb chops, rib eye steak....

    ...meaty Kebabs...

    merguez sausages and rich, silky bone marrow - ready for digging out and spreading on bread. They say it's for two people but I'd say there's more than enough for at least four of you to fill your boots, making it well worth the price tag once divided between you.

    After all that, you'll be tempted to skip pudding - but don't! If there's a few of you - definitely go for the Delicatessen mixed desserts platter (£40). You get a portion of four desserts and plenty of spoons so you can all tuck in...

    There's decadent warm churros with sugar cinnamon and hot chocolate sauce...

    Traditional Malabi with passion fruit, rose petals coconut and nut brittle... 
    and my favorite - the deliciously light Basbousa cake made with polenta and served with tahini semifreddo, mint jelly and raspberry & lemon coulis. What an incredible way to round off an incredible evening! 
    All in all, an evening of incredible food, delicious wine and great service - what more you could you want from a restaurant?

    They’re open from 12pm-11pm Sunday to Thursday, close at 4pm on Fridays and shut on Saturday. Oh and if you live close enough – they all also offer Deliveroo! I suggest you get down there ASAP!

    Delicatessen
    46 Rosslyn Hill
    Hampstead, NW3 1NH 

     * I was invited to the press dinner

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