Delamina in Marylebone: A truly sensory experience
Following a residency at Shoreditch House and a restaurant opening in Shoreditch (Strut & Cluck), husband and wife duo Limor and Amir Chen have now turned their attention to their latest venture, Delamina. Drawing from Limor’s Russian and Iranian roots, the menu boasts an array of vibrant and rousing Eastern Mediterranean dishes adorned with fresh herbs and spices. Located in Marylebone, the restaurant is bright and airy, making use of high ceilings and natural light, and looking more like a trendy health food eatery.
The menu is split into vegetables, meat and seafood, and seems to be geared towards vegetarians and health-conscious diners who are after something a little more hearty. Using a range of seasonal ingredients, you can expect to see dishes such as Charcoaled Leeks with Crumbled Manouri and Dried Apricots, Smokey Aubergine with Tahini and Zhoug, Beef Cheeks with Dates and Roasted Cod Smothered with Chermoula.
We started with the vegetables and ordered the Grilled Courgette Two Ways with crispy onions, pine kernels and labneh drizzle. For me, this was a standout dish – the courgettes were cooked so that they retained their firmness while also giving way to a gooey centre, which was set off with sweet crispy onion and a rich yoghurt dressing.
Then was the Charred Cauliflower, with lemon zest-infused crème fraîche, pomegranate and seeds. The cauliflower took on an almost creamy consistency which was perfectly counteracted with a citrus kick. I found it slightly overcooked and would have preferred a little more bite, but the flavours were spot on.
We also ordered the Pita Balagan (a bruschetta of sorts) which features as a daily special “topped with today’s larder”: ours were with portobello mushrooms, harissa, almonds, radicchio and Blacksticks blue cheese. This dish managed to pack sweet, tangy and savoury flavours all into one – although a little more blue cheese wouldn’t have gone amiss.
For the mains we ordered Moshe’s Herbed and Spiced Beef and Venison Koftas, served on a bed of hummus and tahini with grilled onions, harissa oil drizzle and pomegranate seeds. The koftas were tender and succulent with a rush of richness coming through from the venison, cutting through a silky smooth hummus.
We also had the Whole Grilled Fish (sea bass) rubbed with dried lime and garnished with roasted fennel. The fish was charcoal grilled, giving it that “just off the barbecue” effect, resulting in a lovely crispy glazed finish on the outside. The delicate flesh of the fish had dried lime running throughout which I found a little too bitter and overpowering at times, but overall an honest and tasty dish.
For dessert, we ordered the Parfait of Halva and Roasted Almonds, with date syrup and raw tahini drizzle. Presented in generous chilled wedges, this nougat-style dessert is simply delicious: infused with nutty, fruity flavours, it’s incredibly sweet but you’ll find yourself helping yourself to more as it really is that good.
The Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake accompanied by a salted sesame cracker is true to its word in terms of consistency. It’s not overly sweet but instead takes on a slightly bitter aftertaste – a fine dessert but nothing on the parfait.
It’s always nice to see a well thought out cocktail list and Delamina certainly deliver on this front. We went for the Jaffa I’ve Mist You Made with Havana 7, elderflower, orange bitter, orange syrup and orange blossom mist. Not surprisingly, it tasted exactly like a Jaffa cake but still unmistakably a cocktail thanks to a punchy dose of rum.
We also had the Fire and Smoke, made with rosemary-infused gin, tonic water and smoky lapsang. The cocktail was beautifully delicate and fragrant before the raw smokiness of the torched lapsang really hit you – a wonderfully welcome assault on the senses.
Aside from the cocktails, it’s also well worth checking out the wine list, featuring imports from the likes of Bethlehem and Lebanon – which make an excellent pairing with the dishes on offer.
Delamina have certainly succeeded in bringing something a little different to the table in terms of flavour and concept. It’s clear they’re not afraid to experiment with textures and spices while layering up a range of contrasting ingredients to create a truly sensory experience for the diner.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Daniel Donovan
To book a table at Delamina, 56-58 Marylebone Lane Marylebone London W1U 2NX, call 020 3026 6810 or visit their website here.