The pair will open ‘The Palomar’ on the former site of Spice Bazaar in Rupert Street in April. They’ve partnered with the team behind the successful Machneyuda restaurant, situated in the Israeli capital.
An 18-cover raw bar at the front of the venue will serve ceviche, oysters and other raw fish items; while the 34-cover restaurant at the back will feature a Josper oven serving up a variety of grilled meats and fish.
“What we’re doing here is very different,” Layo Paskin told BigHospitality. “Palomar is all about originality; doing things our own way.
“We’d been talking with the Machneyuda restaurant in Jerusalem for a while and they asked about doing a restaurant together. It took about six months to find a suitable site and we felt it had to be in Soho.
“Zoe and I didn’t want to open ‘another Italian’ or ‘another burger place’ – this is very much our own. The kitchen team has been working together for a long time and the standard of cooking is really high – that’s the base level for any restaurant.
“We’ve worked very hard on getting the service right as well. With restaurants you have to do everything well and take it very seriously, and we’ve done that.”
With Layo envisaging an average £35-45 spend per head for dinner, dishes will vary from those influenced by the Yemen to risotto and hand-made pasta. The raw bar (which won’t take bookings) will serve a few Middle-Eastern-inspired salads while the restaurant (which will take bookings) will feature eight to 10 main dishes and three or four desserts. A list of wine will be available by the glass, and seven or eight cocktails will also be available.
The business is a joint venture between the Paskin’s and Yossi Elad, Uri Navon and Asaf Granit from Machneyuda. The kitchen will be headed up by Tomer Amedi, while Zoe Paskin will be restaurant manager.
Since selling The End and AKA in 2009, Zoe Paskin spent time working in restaurants in Barcelona, at Browns in London and most recently at Hawksmoor. She also lectures in hospitality. Layo continued working as a DJ before pursuing this new restaurant idea.
Speaking of the potential to open more restaurants in the future, Layo added: “We want to first get this place really right. We’re entering the market humbly but with a lot of dedication to making it work. If it does, then maybe we would do another thing.
“But I would never do the same thing again – the creative aspect; doing something new, is what I find most exciting about restaurants.”
The Palomar at 34 Rupert Street will open under a soft launch in mid-April before officially opening in May.