‘Velvet Hummus’ is one of the standout dishes illustrating the culinary story of Israeli hospitality at Melabes on Kensington High Street. Celebrated for its authentic approach to Mediterranean cooking since its opening back in 2017, it has fast become one of the most popular Israeli dining spots in West London.
With a global portfolio at their fingertips, London’s diners are continuously hungry to sample culinary edible niches that transport them momentarily to somewhere beyond the concrete confines of the M25. With an ever-evolving portfolio of dishes and a new cocktail menu to pair the myriad of flavours with this year, Melabes has successfully established itself on the capital’s restaurant scene.
With its Israeli and Mediterranean culture comes a sharing plate concept, something us Brits took cautiously to at first, but now fully embrace in an attempt to absorb the concept’s novelty. This is what Melabes’ philosophy and menu orbits, encouraging friends and family to share an array of small plates from across its dynamic and friendly menu.
Taste notes of Tel Aviv are woven among Melabes’ food menu. From Mediterranean chicken, spicily marinated and cooked on a charcoal grill, to the standout velvet hummus I previously mentioned, made from slow-cooked chickpeas with tahini and scattered with herbs with whole chickpeas, with a side dip of a chilli lemon sauce. Other street style favourites include an authentic line-up of skewers and Baba Ganush: a classic Israeli dish created with a combination of charred aubergine mixed with a home-made mayonnaise flavoured with garlic and parsley, topped with sweet pomegranate seeds.
Served with trinity plate tahini, green peppers, tomato salsa are the ‘rip it’ laffa breads that mimic what we may compare to Indian naan bread. From plain to garlic and sesame, the interesting concept of a ‘Jerusalem Bagel’ is also available. Extending across the ‘garden’ examples of dishes from this ever-evolving menu include Tel-Aviv style cauliflower – (chargrilled cauliflower served with black tahini and tzatziki dips), a grapefruit salad – (endive leaves, peach, feta, mixed seeds, goji berry, cucumber, pomegranate vinegar dressing) or the Fattush Salad – (rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, sumac onions, croutons, labneh and lemon dressing) among others.
Meanwhile, from ‘pasture’ are tender lamb chops seasoned and grilled, rib eye steak, chicken schnitzel or the ‘gyros feast’ a combination of shredded lamb, sumac onion, chillies and herbs served over laffa, yoghurt, amba and tahini.
Following a visit to London for a Champions League semi-final and realising that Israeli food was starting to take off in London, chef Aviv Baum is the men behind Melabes. Seizing the opportunity to bring a truly authentic concept to life in the form of a comfortable environment with high-quality dishes inspired by his heritage, he created a restaurant that is familiar yet alluring old-school. With a busy interior space that reflects an authentic Israeli café style dining space that also satisfies the aesthetic demands of the West London audience, Melabes has been completed with an eclectic collection of furniture, scattered with vibrant green in the form of potted plants throughout the venue.
Address: 221 Kensington High Street London, W8 6SG
Phone: 020 7937 3003