Restaurants & Bars 3

Angel Mangal in Islington, London

Chris K. | Oct 30, 200206:44 AM

A few weeks back my wife & I went out with some friends who wanted to sample Turkish cuisine for the first time. With my wife being a Turk and all, they figured she'd be in the know. However I'm the real chowhounder in the family and having sussed out several restaurants, I proposed Angel Mangal on Upper St. in Islington. Simon Majumdar & others on the chow-boards have named it as one of the better Turkish grills in London.

Angel Mangal is owned by the same people who run Mangal and Mangal II on Kingsland Rd, the mainstreet of Dalston/Kingsland. I've done takeaway from Mangal II before -- which was excellent -- but thought that trendy Islington would suit my guests better than the grim streets of Hackney.

"Mangal" means "grill" or "bbq" in Turkish and Angel Mangal, like the other two Mangals, specialises in fine grilled meats -- lamb, chicken, beef. However, Angel's menu is actually a bit broader than the other two restaurants, offering quite a bit more vegetarian dishes (the waitress confirmed this). I think maybe they are catering to different tastes in Islington. However all the dishes are very authentic and what we ordered was delicious.

The one disappointment was the desert menu, which was rather limited and offered just standard fare -- baklava, ice creams, sutlac (a pudding), fruit, etc. I was salivating at the thought of some spectacular exotic desert like kazandibi, asure, keskul, and instead it was the same plain-old plain-olds! We questioned the waitress about this, saying that the desert list didn't measure up to the rest of the menu. She was apologetic but said that the reason is that even if they had more offerings, they would end up just moving the same four or five deserts. P Taylor mentioned that Istanbul Iskembecisi has kazandibi...does anyone know if they have much else in the way of deserts? Better yet, does anyone know a speciality Turkish desert-restaurant, much like the muhallebicisi that you can find in Turkey?

I'm also trying out Shish in Willesden Green next week which a mate of mine says is one of the few good places in NW2. www.shish.co.uk. Not exactly Turkish and looks rather modern and fusion-esque. But they have this "silk road" theme so I want to see if they have any good Central Asian dishes. Anyone eaten there before?

Good eating!
Chris K.

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