At the tail end of May 2023, esteemed chef Eyal Shani, founder of the cult Mediterranean hit Miznon, opened his latest London restaurant, Lilienblum just off Old Street roundabout and close to Shoreditch. Unlike Miznon’s fast-casual dining approach, Lilienblum focuses on family-style sharing plates – packed with theatre of course from the in-house chefs. We were lucky enough to try it back in August, and here’s our Secret London lowdown on how we thought it fared!
On arrival, we were met by a lovely front-of-house member – more on the staff later – and shown to our seats in the spacious main dining room. Nestled between the street and the al-fresco garden terrace outside, it’s focused on the open kitchen where you can see the chefs work their magic as you wine and dine.
A welcoming spot, it’s also decked out in plenty of foliage – including traditional vegetables and fruit decorating the tables – and if you’d rather be right in the heart of the action, you can also sit right on the bar. It’s pretty fascinating stuff to experience Head Chef Oren King and his team put their creativity really into action.
One thing I would have to say is that the staff here are absolutely delightful. They’re overseen by General Manager Kitty Sparks, who previously worked at Fifteen and Aquavit, and you can tell that the team here really gel with one another. After a welcoming glass of bubbly – which really went down a treat it had to be said – we then began our starters, which included hummus and golden fresh focaccia, charred beetroot carpaccio and my personal favourite, mesabaha…
A creamy dish consisting of slow-cooked lima beans and topped with tomato seeds, red onion, and a hard-boiled egg, it was absolutely delicious and I would happily order it again in a heartbeat – and mop it up with that crusty focaccia too…
Tasty mains involved the grouper carpaccio drizzled in lemon and olive oil, the minute steak tahini with spicy green peppers and tomato salsa and the ‘sabich 2.0’ – a delicious pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini sauce, and Israeli salad and pickles. All of these were absolutely delicious, though I’d have to say that the star of the show for me was the dessert.
We chose the tatami and the malabi with strawberry perfume – both were absolutely out-of-this-word (and I’m not usually a dessert man), and washed down with a bottle of Israeli red vino – it was the perfect end to the evening!
The Overall Verdict:
This charming new Mediterranean restaurant is well worth a visit and making your way to East London for. It may be in a slightly odd location just off that roundabout which never seems to be finished… but the food is exquisite, it’s got a nice vibe inside and the staff are absolutely lovely. Lilienblum also doesn’t break the bank too – so make sure you go see what all the fuss is about!