You are here: Southwark \ GASTRONOMIC GEM IN CAMBERWELL
5 September 2012
Camberwell, SE5 8QZ
020 7701 6677
It’s easy to walk straight past FM Mangal. From the outside it looks like any other kebab house which attracts late night clubbers seeking a bit of grease on their way home from a wild night out.
Venture a little further, past the smoky grill, with chunks of meat roasting on skewers, and a spacious restaurant with deep red walls over three floors is revealed.
Now, negotiating the spiral black metal staircase is a challenge, It’s steep and narrow and if you look down, through the veil of smoke, you can see chefs at work chopping and marinating and being chef like.
Don’t even attempt it if you’ve got the heels on. That’s the easy part, the descent is particularly nerve wracking after knocking back a few glasses of the pungent Turkish vino blanco.
So my friend Nadine and I opted for a spot of al fresco dining all the way at the top on the cosy terrace where we enjoyed colourful views of life whizzing past Camberwell Church Street with a few ambulance sirens thrown in and occasional wafts of the Camberwell carrot.
We were both starvin marvin so when our waitress arrived with a basket full of warm flat bread and grilled onion in a slightly sweet vinaigrette, we were made up. But as Nads was quick to point out, ever the practical one, this was a dangerous move as it was just there to keep us going until our starters arrived.
The nourishing bread dipped into deep blood red sauce was hard to resist though and was soon demolished.
The menu is extensive, and includes meat and even more meat with hot and cold mezze options. The hellim- holoumi cheese was grilled and not overly salty or chewy for that matter.
The sucuk- grilled sausage was a little greasy but well-seasoned and spicy.
It all started to go downhill from here, Nadine told me she was already stuffed and I barely heard her over the din of the Camberwell art school students sitting behind us discussing studios in south London. Excellent.
Our chirpy waitress, who told us that they had been packed since a certain someone wrote a review in the Observer a few weeks ago, recommended the FM Mangal special and mixed kebab for mains. When they arrived, Nadine’s appetite miraculously reappeared.
Phew, but it was only half way through the bottle of dry Turkish wine that it dawned on her that she was driving home so it was left to me to polish it off. Luckily the special lived up to its name. It was a mix of spicy lamb and soft aubergine with flat bread, rice and grilled tomatoes.
The lamb was well seasoned and succulent. The mixed kebab meat feast with salad and rice included chicken wings, chunky kebab and chops. The smoky flavours of the charcoal grill came through and the chicken was sticky and moreish. It’s a heavy dish though, and the generous salad balances it out a bit.
They had sold out of dessert but had some ice cream which hit the spot, normally they offer backlava and some other sweet treats for pudd. At the end of the mammoth meal, the waitress insisted we have a shot of almond liqueur, and a cube a Turkish delight. It was a glorious sweet and nutty concoction which would send us straight to sleep apparently.
I was a slightly concerned for Nadine’s safety, with images of her snoozing at the wheel and dragged her into the fresh air insisting we go for a little walk as soon. Slices of water melon are usually whipped out at the end of dinner at no extra cost, and the staff really look after customers.
The vegetarian offering is slight but there are a few fish dishes for the pescatarians amongst you. On weekends, they often close the take away counter because the grill gets filled up.
FM Mangal is a gastronomic gem in Camberwell’s crown. And the waitress was right, as soon as I got home, I was ready to crash.
Mixed kebab £13.95
Villa Doluca wine £15.45
Ice cream £2.50
Turkish tea £2
No comments have been posted.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale