Eat this: Haya, food inspired by Tel Aviv

The rising influence of Israeli cuisine continues with this new restaurant coming to Notting Hill.

12 August 2019
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  • The Gist: All-day dining spot with Middle Eastern sharing plates
  • The Chef: Oren King
  • Location: 184A Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES
  • Food in 5 words: Familiar flavours and some surprises
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How did we get here?

Via inspiration from the Tel Aviv eating out scene. Victoria Paltina kick-started her restaurant career at Bocconcino, moved on to Sumosan Twiga before heading to Le Cordon Bleu. She’s teamed up with Oren King, who has worked at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Roka, to launch a new restaurant in September in Notting Hill called Haya.

The menu is a nod to Paltina’s visits to the Israeli city, while King who is head chef of the venture is from Tel Aviv.

What’s different about it?

While many of the ingredients will be relatively familiar to most these days Haya does throw in some surprise elements. It will embrace the lively, spirited culture of Tel Aviv, with a focus on sharing plates and seasonal ingredients. The kitchen will be open, allowing guests to see and hear the action unfold.

The all-day restaurant will open its doors with daily cold-pressed juices and breakfast dishes including yoghurt with granola and honeycomb, goat’s cheese and egg white omelette, and porridge topped with mango puree and seasonal fruit.

On weekends, it will open for brunch with dishes including shakshuka.

Diners can drop in for a quick midday snack or take a more relaxed approach with dishes such as quinoa salad, crumbled feta cheese and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds or spiced lamb cutlets served with a spoonful of honey yoghurt.

As evening draws in, seasonally-changing small plates will include zaatar duck breast, freekeh risotto and crispy prawns, spicy yoghurt and harissa or seared tuna, dukkah and homemade labneh (the equivalent to a yoghurt-cheese that comes in tangy, thick and creamy).

“Haya means a lot to me – this is my middle name and is translated as ‘life’ in Hebrew,” said Paltina. “The word encompasses everything that I envision the restaurant to be: lively, social and familiar. Having family spread all around the world allowed me to live and grow up between cities including Moscow, New York, London and Tel Aviv, so Haya takes inspiration from all of them and represents the best of each.”

The restaurant is the latest in a growing number of modern Israeli-inspired restaurants popping up in London – a cuisine that Food Spark flagged as not only a gateway to many popular food trends, but also one that is at the forefront of food innovation. It joins the likes of Honey & Co, Berber & Q, Palomar, Delamina and Bala Baya.

You’ve got to try...

The brunch dish with a difference – fried polenta cakes topped with shaved parmesan and fried quail eggs. It’s part of a trend towards the international influence on brunch.

Sparkie also likes...

Burrata, loquat compote, and a drizzle of citrus vinaigrette. Burrata, a fresh Italian cow’s milk cheese is popping up in a number of places from pizza to salads. But Haya brightens the burrata with the use of a fruit rarely seen in the UK, the loquat which is a cross between a mango and apricot and can be sweet or sour.

Go if...

You can’t afford the trip to Tel Aviv.

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