What's the draw
A bright, welcoming restaurant at the entrance to bright, welcoming Marylebone Lane, Eastern Mediterranean-inspired Delamina is the latest venture from Limor and Amir Chen, the husband-and-wife team behind Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch. While the distressed walls, dangling pot plants and glazed earthenware plates have been carried across from the other restaurant over East, the flavours have – obviously – come from across the Med, with no stone being left unturned for inspiration, from Italy all the way through to Israel.
What to drink
Delamina's summer cocktail game is strong, and nothing typifies that more than the Fifi Abdou: a spritzy flute of prosecco, rose, elderflower and crème de peche that's light and subtly juicy. The wine list, meanwhile, favours the brave. Skip the stuff you recognise and start with a glass of the Dabouki 2016 – a creamy, oaked white with a green apple tang, made from the indigenous grapes of Palestine – and you'll be handsomely rewarded, as it pairs deliciously with loads of the veg-forward small plates. With meat, go for the Italian La Tunella pinot nero 2015 – its deep, dark cherry flavours, soft minerality and ever-so slight smokiness works wonders alongside shawarma, köfte and poussin.
What to eat
The menu is pretty easy to digest: work your way through a series of mezze-style bites and veggie small plates, then pig out on larger (but equally shareable) mains of meat and fish. Kick things off with the charred cauliflower, which is souped-up with rich, jammy pomegranate molasses and lemon-zest creme fraiche, then indulge in a plate of baby aubergine and goats cheese that pops with creamy roast almonds, peppery rocket and a tamarind and honey dressing that draws similarities with balsamic vinegar. For mains, you'd be mad not to try the vibrantly colourful turkey shawarma pita that made Strut & Cluck famous, but don't pass up on the poussin either. Deboned, glazed with honey and ras-el-hanout, then grilled over charcoal, it is sweet, tender and perfectly accompanied by smoky sweet potato. On the surface, this may just look like indulgent Mediterranean comfort food, but on the plate it's the best flavours of the region, cherry picked and fused together with aplomb, and we urge you to try it.
Mains from £15; wine from £4.25 by the glass. 56-58 Marylebone Lane W1U 2NX; delaminamarylebone.co.uk