In Parma, Fez Mangal, Bree Louise

More good eating out this week.

In Parma in Fitzrovia is a small, very European-style cafe showcasing Parma ham that’s as sweet and pretty as rose petals, albeit shaved off of a leg proudly on display at the counter (its trotter and hock modestly removed). Other than the superlative salume another highlight is the range of polenta dishes, including a super rich, warm sliced polenta draped in a very sexy way in a pearlescent cloak of lardo.

Small, bustling Fez Mangal in Ladbroke Grove is very serious about its time limit of one hour and fifteen minutes per table on Friday and Saturday nights. We were asked at least a dozen times if we’d like to order our main dishes, despite ordering felafels (disappointingly they’d been reheated in the microwave so had soft exteriors and dry interiors) and mezze (including a fantastic tart, zesty tabbouleh), and waiting for our fourth diner to arrive (he was fifteen minutes late for the booking). Fortunately the yogurtli adana and lamb shish were excellent kebabs although next time I want to visit it will be at a quieter time.

Two visits in one week to Bree Louise in Euston confirms I like this pub a lot: it’s an old man pub in the best kind of way (old carpets, lots of interesting ciders and ales, and there are plenty of old men into the bargain). I was impressed with the Pig Orchard Philosopher Cider and the Titanic Iron Curtain Russian Stout. The food available isn’t that hot (the chips are pretty good at least), but the drinks are worth travelling to check out.

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