Is it a blogpost? Or is it just two plugs for good resaurants masquerading as the aforementioned?
First, the lovely place that fed me Spanish or possibly North African tapas (the website is endearingly non-specific on this point: “Our style of eating, probably of North African origin, is a great way to enjoy food”) for dinner on Friday: Del Parc, in north London’s Archway-cum-Tufnell Park hinterland. I can’t say much about it that my dear friend Clare Heal hasn’t already said on her tasty but under-nourished blog, except that it was a delight. And that the nice front-of-house man was very helpful with regard to our food, our uneven tabletop and our Arabic pronunciation.
Second, Saturday’s place of lunching: Yalla Yalla. The branch in Soho’s Green Court has quite a hip reputation, but it was to chef Jad Youssef’s shopper-friendly new home at Oxford Circus (also very well spoken-of) that we snowmobiled our way for noon eats. As you might have gathered, I’m a useless food critic, but basically we ate lots of little things on plates and all of them were very nice (I recommend the batata hara and the soujoc, especially if you’ve got a hangover. I also recommend saying hullo to Aga, Jad’s partner, who is very nice and may make you feel small and feeble for moaning about cold feet when she’s about to fly home to Poland and six feet of snow. Also, the samboussek (tiny pasties, very like Russian piroshki)).
As a child of the eighties, I’m afraid I’ve always struggled to think of Lebanon without thinking of, y’know, bad stuff (and indeed Google will suggest “Beirut Street Fighting” before it suggests “Beirut Street Food”, Yalla Yalla’s tagline). But now Lebanon will make me think of tasty small things on plates, and these are things of which I like very much to think.