East is feast: the chefs fusing Levantine cuisine with a melting pot of global culinary staples

East is feast: the chefs fusing Levantine cuisine with a melting pot of global culinary staples

Ever since the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi put modern Jerusalem on a plate in the early 2000s, Levantine cuisine has been on the rise. We’ve spotted a number of creative kitchens taking the next natural step: cross-pollinating the flavours of the Levant with the cuisines of other cultures, from Bangkok to the Black Forest. Here are some of our finds.
      
Photography: John Short. Food styling: Peta O’Brien. As originally featured in the October 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*223)

London’s Palomar has been gaining acclaim for its Israeli flavours, innovatively reworked for the small plate generation. Playful pairings include Jerusalem mess (a take on Eton mess made with labneh mousse and almond crumble) and scallop carpaccio with Thai-bouleh (pictured), a fusion of Thai and Lebanese cuisines, with toasted cashew and lime replacing the bulgur.

‘Alchimie’ plate in Gold, £110, by L’Objet. ‘Iga’ cup, £40, by Native & Co. ‘Kintore’ fabric in Cardamon, £60 per m, by Romo

Maiko Kyogoku set up Bessou in NoHo as a Japanese restaurant serving comfort food, but the melting pot of her home town is evident. We love her Japanese take on shakshuka, a blend of tofu, curry powder, pomegranate and harissa, served with toasted Japanese milk bread.

‘Chrysanthemum’ plate, £32, by Native & Co. ‘Goa’ spoon, £14, by Cutipol, from Amara. ‘C5’ griddle pan, £65, by Crane Cookware. ‘Kintore’ fabric in Buff, £60 per m, by Romo

At Mokonuts in Paris, Lebanese chef Omar Koreitem is in charge of the savoury, while his partner, Japanese-born pastry chef Moko Hirayama, provides the sweet. Our depiction shows their labneh dish served with sesame and miso cookies and mugicha tea.

‘Alchimie’ plate in Black, £24, by L’Objet. Ceramic cup and saucer, £24; walnut saucer, £55, all by Native & Co. ‘Mercurio’ fabric in Oro, £150 per m, by Rubelli

Kanaan in Berlin, set up by Israeli Oz Ben David and Palestinian Jalil Dabit, aims to bring the culinary best from their respective countries to the German city. Their desserts, in particular, bring a teutonic twist to the Middle Eastern table. Black forest malabi (pictured) is a vegan version of the Israeli milk pudding, topped with local berries.

‘Aegean’ plate, £31; ‘Alchimie’ charger in Gold, £155, both by L’Objet. ‘Olio’ jug, £35 for sugar bowl set, by Barber & Osgerby, for Royal Doulton, from Twentytwentyone. ‘Delano’ fabric in Nori, £71 per m, by Romo