There’s no actual tatreez – traditional Palestinian embroidery – in evidence at this funky new café. It’s fitted out in plain chunky blocks of wood, with a high counter in front of the whitewashed swell of a bread oven, and a big communal table at the back. A small collection of Palestinian deli produce and samples of a Gazan cookbook adorn the bar; the chalkboard menu is studded with symbols of the Palestinian flag, indicating where fairly-traded ingredients have made it on to the menu from the owner’s conflicted homeland.
The menu lacks the depth of equivalent cafés on the Edgware Road. There is a very selective range of café snacks that only hints at the depth and breadth of the region’s cooking. The Palestinian angle seems to refer mostly to the provenance of the ingredients; the dishes would be perfectly at home in Beirut, but their execution is spot on.
After a bowl of Palestinian olives and a couple of easy-drinking Lebanese beers, we had tart makdous – pickled baby aubergines stuffed with walnuts and chilli – fluffy, creamy and warm full-stewed chickpeas, and crisp manaeesh flatbread baked with a cheese and za’atar thyme mix. We chose a honeyed Palestinian white wine, but there are also some excellent Lebanese wines. Throughout all of this, a live guitarist strummed world jazz, one of the regular free sets.
On an average Tuesday night, the space filled quickly with artfully dishevelled locals having beers and snacks, listening to the music and generally having a jolly old time; minimal politics, maximum enjoyment.
188 Stoke Newington High St
|Opening hours:||Meals served 11am-10pm Mon-Thur, Sun; 11am-11pm Fri, Sat. Main courses £5-£6.50|
|Transport:||Stoke Newington rail/Bus 67, 73, 76, 149, 243|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £30|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.6 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
Abysmal. Waited an hour for dreary food. No explanation. Staff stuffing their faces as we waited. Terrible.
Owner is supper moody and that takes away one star but the food is amazing and maybe that is what it takes...
Waited 15 minutes for coffee. Was told food would be 20 minutes and it was an hour. Half of it was overcooked! Everything apart from the bread was bland and uninspiring and overpriced. No one came to check food was ok, or take away our plates. The worst place I have eaten in Stoke Newington, bland food and slow, unapologetic staff. Don't go here.
my wife and I had two oversized dry crackers for a bout 7 quid each. I might not understand the sophistication of Palestinian food but I don't think I will bother again to find out. Friendly place though.
Vegetarian, dog friendly, posh and tasty food nicely presented, reasonable prices, Palestinian (for interest) and (very) suitable for wine bibbers. Do I want or need more! Great location for dog owners right on the strip. Would have given 5 stars but hey there's room for improvement in all of us. Owner is more perfectionist than businesswoman in my opinion - no menu in the window pointing out vegie and puppy friendly. Says she's waiting for Tracey Emin to finish her menu commission. Only joking. Place quiet when I ate there. Please get that menu and canine-friendly sign up - I really don't want you to close.
I really liked the food, it felt like being abroad. I went on the opening night. It was fantastic!!!
Lovely layout - a nice woody scene. The staff are friendly and the food is above average. Highly recommended :-)