Turkish mezze with a fresh twist at Laz
With creative dishes and a magnificent wine and spirits list that’s worth the trip alone, Laz is a dazzling new arrival for Parkway
29 June, 2017 — By Tom Moggach
Laz Camden, where the decor ‘teeters between rustic and modern’
AS a spotty teenager, I loved the pizzeria half way up Parkway in Camden. My best friend’s garden bordered their kitchen, so the friendly chefs posted us our pizzas through the skylight.
The place is long closed, along with many others on this elegant street. Market restaurant, known for its inventive modern British menu, also announced its demise a month ago.
Step forward Laz Camden, a highly promising new opening.
This is the latest venture from a group that runs a few local places, including Bisto Laz in Highgate and two Al Parco pizzerias – one nearly opposite, the other by Swain’s Lane.
Laz Camden serves creative Turkish mezze – small dishes designed to share – along with a magnificent wine and spirits list worth the trip alone.
We went for dinner, choosing a table at the back of this deep, narrow room.
The design and décor is spot on, teetering between rustic and modern. You’ll find vast rough-hewn wooden tables, varnished like a mirror, colourful tiles, bare brick and stripped-back floorboards.
There’s a bar at the front, stylish lighting and a play of white and black metal mesh.
But it’s the menus that dazzle. I spent 10 minutes leafing through the drinks list alone.
Pick from classy aperitifs (red and white vermouths; an English take on Campari), dozens of gins, rums or vodkas, or a large selection of rakis, the traditional Turkish spirit described as a “prescription free medicine for healing the heart and mind”.
More than 20 red and white wines are available by the glass, including high quality Turkish vintages from indigenous grapes.
The food menu is just as intriguing: a roll call of Turkish mezze dishes, many given an inventive twist to keep us on our toes.
The tabule (aka tabbouleh) had the correct abundance of mixed herbs and a spritz of pomegranate dressing.
Courgette, feta and mint fritters were light and bouncy; smokey grilled peppers arrived in a slick of yoghurt spiked with Urfa chilli.
They offer pastries, dumplings, kebabs and salads. Even the hummus was more interesting than most, topped with cherry tomatoes, parsley and chilli flakes.
Be wary of over-ordering. With a lengthy menu like this, priced around £4-£10 a dish, it’s easy to get carried away.
We just managed a platter of tender lamb ribs with sumac and a small stuffed squid. (The last dish was too dry – but a minor quibble.)
The best pudding is the Tiriliçe, a delicate Balkan sponge cake prepared with three types of milk and served cold.
Laz Camden is an exciting place to eat out. The versatile layout means it works for well for both large groups or cosier meals.
The set mezze menu is £25 a head. Otherwise you could enjoy a light lunch for around a tenner.
With two long menus to explore, it’s a place you will want to revisit.
Parkway is back on my food radar.
41 Parkway, NW1
020 7482 5544