Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Black Axe Mangal

Meat, Spice and All Things Nice

If you can battle your way out of the carnage of Highbury & Islington station on match night (or perhaps don’t be an idiot like yours truly and plan your journey a little better), then Black Axe Mangal for all the meat, spice, beer, spice, bread and spice is where you absolutely need to be headed. Unique is a word that is becoming less and less appropriate for the London dining scene but I think Black Axe Mangal might have just coined it!

Ex St. John Bread & Wine chef Lee Tiernan and his wife Kate have created a miniature Mangal avant-garde meatery that has everyone buzzing around town. Actually, it does more that meat, it just does meat very well. I could also happily munch on the pillowy, doughy flatbread for all eternity.

 We’re back in no reservations land and while the queue of eager customers is a fixture, don’t let that put you off as the turnaround is pretty speedy. All the better if you have long suffering pals to do the waiting for you (thank you Matt & Ali, I’d much rather have been smelling meaty wafts than stuck behind a dodgy haircut at the station..)!

But I digress! Back to the restaurant itself, which has some entertaining interior features with colourful painted skateboards adorning the walls, a Kiss mural oven, bright lightbulb letters and you probably should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the tablecloths. 

Somehow all this comes together and with a some cheeky floor paintings (I’ll leave the subject matter for you to discover ... no I won't, it's covered in penises), it's all just a bit of fun.

Now to the meats! We almost made our way through the menu and with a fourth human, wouldn’t have had any troubles polishing off the lot. 

The Lamb offal flatbread (£5.50) was a spice ignitor and probably should be avoided if your spice tolerance is of the mild variety but if your chilli brain is fully geared up then it is an absolute treat, and a filling one too. 

The Welsh Rarebit is a cheesy, oniony, slightly gloopy but by no means unpleasant affair.

We also opted for Broad Bean Falafel, Curd and Squash (£9), which although tasty was a bit pricey for the portion size and could have done with some of that damned delicious bread included.

The favourite of the troops was the Bakken special, smoked lamb, roast peppers, onions and puy lentils (£14) which was a party of spices and smokey meatyness.

Drinks wise, your best bet is probably beer or water. I'm not a huge fan of spice and wine and the Mr Lyan cocktails, which although pleasantly priced at £6 are pretty much lost on the palate once the flatbreads have made their mark! Ones to order while you wait for your table perhaps. Or you could just go all out and let whisky take its toll .. we definitely didn't do that. Definitely not.

BAM has easily nestled itself in both the stomachs and hearts of Londoners all around and has many heading back for second, third and fourth helpings. I expect I'll be adding myself to that list soon enough!

Opening Hours
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 6pm-10.30pm
Closed: Sundays & Mondays

156 Canonbury Road, N1 2UP
Nearest Tube: Highbury & Islington