Latest opening: Lilienblum

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Mizon founder Eyal Shani has opened mediterranean and Israeli restaurant Lilienblum

Related tags Lilienblum Eyal Shani Restaurant Miznon Mediterranean Casual dining London

Mizon founder Eyal Shani continues his march on the London food scene with his new Shoreditch restaurant.

What:​ Located on the large former Passo site on City Road, Lilienblum focuses on the flavours of Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine.

Who:​ Chef and restaurateur Eyal Shani is the man behind the launch. Shani announced himself on the London restaurant scene last year with his casual pitta concept Miznon but Lilienblum is his first full-service restaurant in London. It also the first of three new restaurant concepts he is set to launch in the capital this year. In the autumn, he will Seven North within the Sircle London hotel on Devonshire Square in London’s Liverpool Street and is also seeking a site for a London outpost of HaSalon, his fine-dining restaurant brand, which has a flagship site in Tel Aviv. The kitchen is run by head chef, Oren King, also hailing from Israel, and whose previous positions have seen him work at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Roka, and Hide, with Kitty Sparks, previously of Fifteen and Aquavit, overseeing the restaurant as general manager.

The food:​ Like many of Shani’s projects, Lilienblum has what it describes as a ‘deliberately curious and poetic menu’ where dish descriptions are colourful and sometimes veer off giving any indication of what’s in store beyond the fact that it will be Israeli and Mediterranean in style. Examples include ‘six spicy instruments that will stir your soul’; ‘a very precise green garlic pasta’; ‘And if I’m not wrong, it’s the best branzino that I ever ate, the roasted one’. Divided by ingredients rather than starters and mains, the menu comprises seasonal vegetables (of which the tomato is the hero), fish and meat dishes designed to share. Diners are encouraged to start a meal with Shani’s signature hummus and golden fresh focaccia, served with sour cream topped with spicy green chillies and tomato ‘ovaries’ (pictured) before diving into dishes such as English Hereford ribeye steak, lamb chops with salat aravi; and desserts of chocolate mousse or malabi with strawberry perfume.

Lilienblum-food

To drink:​ The wine list stetches to about 40 bottles with an Israeli pet nat featuring on the sparkling section as well as a couple of Israeli reds and whites. The list is predominantly French, with a focus on burgundy, although a few wines from Italy also feature. Wines start at £35 a bottle and top out at £140.

The vibe:​ The restaurant’s large open kitchen - in front of which is a counter at which to eat – commands the attention of the large and bright dining room, as does a central ceramic column and colourful ceiling. The overall effect is a stylish and modern restaurant with clean lines and a lot of natural light that is unlike anything else in the immediate area. A large outside terrace adds to the numbers that it can do.

And another thing:​ Lilienblum takes its name from the street where one of Shani’s first restaurants, North Abraxas, was launched in Tel Aviv and which was once the financial centre of Israel but is now home to a number of fashionable restaurants and bars.

80 City Road London, EC1Y 2BJ
www.lilienblum.co.uk

Related topics Restaurant Openings Casual Dining

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