Late night London: Best Mangal II
4 Stoke Newington Road (Near Kingsland British Rail)
I didn’t think that I would find decent calamari in London, England but lo and behold, just down the street from our friend’s flat is a cosy Turkish restaurant with towers of donair meat and trays and trays of baklava right inside the front entrance. Any set up like that would entice me and my stomach into a restaurant.
We ordered a variety of dishes to try out everything. Unfortunately, it was 10 pm at night, and surprisingly, London restaurants close parts of their kitchens early so the deliciously smelling donair was unavailable.
The calamari that we ordered really hit the spot for me in terms of fried food. The squid rings were very light in batter but still very tasty. The light batter made the calamari less greasy, and really gave the squid meat a chance to shine.
Another dish that I never order in Vancouver is the Yogurtlu Adana which is minced lamb meat mixed in with a creamy yogurt with some cubes of bread. When the waitress described this to us, it sounded like the most ordinary dish in the whole world but when I tasted it, I quickly changed my mind. Something about the mild spices in the lamb meat, the texture of the minced clumps mixed in with the clean and fresh yogurt made this dish a comforting and homey entrée.
I also fell in love with the bread here. The bumpy texture of the bread makes it a great edible scooper for the rich, thick and creamy yogurt dip. The soft and chewy insides of the bread also made it a great addition to this meal as a great solid palette cleanser as we shared all our dishes, each dish with a different, strong distinctive flavour.
We didn’t get to try the donair so we ordered the next best thing: skewers! We decided on the Pilic and Kuzu Karisik Sis which is marinated chicken and lamb cubes. The interesting thing about these mixed meat skewers is that they really squished the cubes of meat together so they are literally melded into each other, absorbing flavour and sharing juices. The result is flavour heaven. The meat was tender, the lamb still retained its trademark robust flavour and the chicken gained a new dimension of flavour in its impressionable and versatile flesh.