Eat Here: Delamina, MaryleboneBy Gemma Perlin
Israeli husband and wife team Limor and Amir Chen have a newish venture and we compel you to give it a whirl. Delamina is the new kid of older sibling Strut and Cluck, a Shoreditch restaurant set up in 2016 by these two, once serving almost exclusively turkey. Their new restaurant on the charming side road off the busy Oxford Circus on Marylebone Lane is not poultry exclusive, and feels like a fitting elegant counterpart to its trendy east London outpost.
Delamina: The Lowdown
The food really took us to our yearly pilgrimages to Tel Aviv. The flavours are intense, but never overpowering with the signature amount of Israeli herbs: zatar and sumac to boot. Dishes are inspired by their Eastern Mediterranean home, with vibrant and fresh flavours, toeing the line of rich and moreish.
Before launching the restaurant, Limor was an artist and this really shines through in the presentation of the crockery; a rainbow of colours served on rustic earthenware plates. Many of the dishes happen to be gluten and dairy-free and there are plenty of vegan options. We defy any vegan to scoff their nose at baby aubergines smothered with black sesame, mixed leaves, sprinkled roasted almond, golden raisins, and finished with a tamarind dressing.
Delamina: The Menu
The staff here are great, they know the menu inside and out and seem genuinely enthusiastic to work there. Definitely use them to find your way through the menu. As my mum would say – there’s a lot going on! Not only is there a variety of dishes but within each dish are differing ingredients, herbs and textures. We recommend sharing a medley, a bite here and there.
We started with delicious small plates of creamy taramasalata garnished with radishes and deep-fried okra fingers. For mains, with a nod to Strut and Cluck, we opted for the finger licking juicy mix of turkey, pickles and herbs glazed with honey and ras-el-hanout, with some smokey sweet potato and dates thrown in for good luck. To complement the meat, we had the squid marinated in za’atar then pan-seared, and served alongside crushed roasted tomatoes, caperberries and crispy cavolo nero. And, never one to shy away from dessert, we went for a sticky sweet parfait of halva and roasted almonds with date syrup and the tart drizzle of raw tahini.
For a bevy, go for one of the house cocktails that incorporate the same aromatic herbs and spices used in the kitchen with cheeky names such as Jaffa I’ve Mist You and Cumin of Age.
Delamina: The Verdict
I adore tahini; there is something about the claggy texture and slightly tart taste that I have intensely loved every which way since I was a little girl. From drizzling it on yoghurt, to smothering my chicken in it or making salad dressing, it has been a real staple for me. It’s comforting yet light and has always transported me to my favourite square in Tel Aviv.
Going for dinner at Delamina had a really similar effect on me and I felt the glow of the vibrant flavours of the Middle East long after I was back dodging the crowds on Oxford Street. We think this place is a keeper for the area, and this foodie couple are really one to watch.
56-58 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone, London W1U 2NX