Jerusalem Home-Cooking And Palestinian 'Pizza': Have You Tried This Soho Restaurant?
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Brightly-lit, brightly-decorated and loud, with clattering things happening off-stage in the kitchen — Tabun Kitchen comes across halfway between exotic cafe and neighbourhood caff.
One of our waiters and the bartender are both new to the restaurant. Questions about portion size and recommendations are met with slightly panicked disclaimers. Ordering one of the Tabun Kitchen signature cocktails prompts doubtful consultation with the new guy behind the bar, who confirms he's up for the challenge.
'It feels a bit cobbled-together', says our friend. 'In a nice way.'
That's bang on: it's not polished, but it's friendly. And the food's similar, more welcoming than slick, more home-cooking than haute. The mezze and dessert sections of the menu are serving up the best dishes, among them our Jerusalem Udssieh (warm fava beans and hummus) and some tahini ice cream that's a revelation of buttery sesame sweetness. Flatbreads come hot from the tabun oven, so that when we tear into them they're still steaming inside.
Our manaeesh (the topped flatbreads which they describe as Palestinian pizza) are just as oven-fresh, just as good for sharing. But their liberal toppings leave them slightly soggy, and we reckon the flatbreads are best torn into with mezze, rather than pizza-ified.
There are fancier and slicker dinners to be had in Soho, but founder Hanan Kattan's meshing of Jerusalem-Bethlehem hospitality dishes up a bright, warm welcome.
Tabun Kitchen, 77 Berwick Street, W1F 8TH.
Last Updated 25 February 2019