Mem & Laz

Restaurants, Mediterranean Barnsbury
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
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Mem & Laz’s founding father Memet is expanding his property along Theberton Street, and soon the lovely, throbbing sea cabin that is Mem & Laz – hung with coloured lanterns and West End posters – will cover a glorious 400sq ft. There’s a pile of hot bread, shot through with sun-dried tomatoes or prunes, before you even pick up the menu. Whole sardines marinated in lemon juice and coriander are an engaging first encounter, and the seafood casserole is a broad sweep across the ocean bed, set in a delicate tomato sauce and served in an iron skillet. Chargrilled chicken breast, served in a thick honey and mustard sauce, tasted more like a buttery korma than anything even vaguely Mediterranean, but was deliciously moreish all the same.


Venue name: Mem & Laz
Address: 8 Theberton Street
N1 0QX
Opening hours: Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Thur, Sun; noon-11pm Fri, Sat.
Transport: Tube: Angel tube/Highbury & Islington tube/rail
Price: Main courses £4.90-£13. Set lunch £5.90 bento box.
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Average User Rating

2.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:5
2 people listening
Avatar for Chris O

Shocked by the reviews here - which are completely out of synch with every other review site - for Mem & Laz.

In truth, this is a homely and cozy neighbourhood restaurant which serves lip-smacking Mediterranean fare at wallet pleasing prices. One of the top 3 on Upper Street.

Avatar for Bradley H

I would prefer to leave the set of reviews here at 2/3 stars so less people visit this place, but that would be wholly unfair. I've been visiting Mem and Laz for over 5 years and it is still an absolute hit.

If you are expecting chain restaurant plastic smiles and regular insincere 'How is your food? Ha ha ha', you probably should give it a swerve. Service is precisely what I'd expect from an independent, family-run business- it's efficient, it's pleasant (I have never had 'rude' table staff, but then again I'm not a particularly rude person) and it is not intrusive. The atmosphere is excellent- it's not expansive and is always fairly busy. The smaller restaurant on the left is rather romantic with mosaic lanterns with a real taverna feel.

One thing you cannot fault is the food. The variety is tremendous, and everything from the feta borek ('parcels') to the chicken livers oozes with authenticity and flavour. I've had a birthday and work meals here- friends who aren't from North have become regulars.

Avatar for Jo Gowans

I can think of no reasons to return to this place. Halloumi starter was average, lamb Kleftiko main was better but the rudeness of the service was absolutely unforgivable. Give it a miss - Upper Street has so many superior options to offer. 

Avatar for Jim S

Decided to go in as it looked nice but spent a total of 3hours waiting for starters and mains. No service. No apology. Luke warm microwaved food with zero taste. Pretty awful to be honest.

Avatar for Fabian G

Customer service today's visit was disgusting I was with my partner and we chose to eat at Mem&Laz I had to ask staff twice for a drink I was waiting for my food for while also what's get me really angry that it wasn't busy at 16:15pm and the staff had some disgusting attiude. Never going to oh there again

Avatar for Ling

Mem and laz WAS one of my favourite places to eat, being that it was good food at a good price with a great atmosphere. Standards have been slipping but this evening was the final straw. To get straight to the point, food and drinks were ordered (2 fresh lemonades, 1 hummus starter, 1 steak and 1 sea bream special with mash potato instead of chips). However our drinks were almost given to the wrong table but after drawing the attention of the waitress all was fine as she apologised for the confusion and we got our drinks. No problems with the starter. It was delivery of the mains that was shocking and absolutely terrible. The food was brought out from the kitchen by the runner who hovered by our table waiting for the waitor to serve us. He took the food and gave it to the table next to us (as they arrived and ordered first), we thought nothing much of it until we saw their plates and it was exactly what we ordered including the small change from chips to mashed potato. Told the waitor that we think he had accidentally gave our food away, he checked the orders and then asked them to stop eating. He then said he would take the food back and give it to us! My sea bream was already partially eaten by the neighbouring table and the steak hadn't been touched yet, only salt added but the chips had been eaten. The waitor then said we could keep the steak and be would replace the chips!!! That was it for me. You cannot tell someone to stop eating and take the food away to give it to someone else. At that point I simply asked for the bill said I would pay for the 2 dinks and starter and was going to leave. The manager/owner arrived and asked what happened, offered to sort the situation out but I refused and carried on asking for the bill. As a regular customer for at least 5 years (I've been going to em and laz since I was in school - I've now finished school, college and uni) the manager/owner recognised me and asked me not to leave, that I didn't have to pay for anything at all but I should stay and continue with my meal. The thing I couldn't get pass was trying to give me back my food when you had already given it to someone else and they had started eating it!!! My last few visits to mem and laz were bad but had forgiven and looked passed it because I truly loved this place but I am so disappointed with this final experience.

Avatar for work Group

Visited restaurent with 12 people office gathering, appalling service rude waiters, with attitude, no pleasant manners displayed from waiters, infact we were sworn at in Turkish Language by one of the rude waiters, our group consisted of several Turkish people,who translated We had been allocated a small table of 8 to fit 12 people since we were tightly seated we requesd change of table, which was allocated to us for1 hour, food was rushed we were watched over by waiteress soon as plate was empty they wanted to clear the table. we had ordered lunch time menu and off course the rush was to clear us by 7pm for evening guest!! Regardless the restaurent was empty......WILL NOT BE GOING THERE AGAIN!!

Avatar for jeff

Lovely restaurant and nice food, Was taken there by a regular customer. Unfortunately I contracted some serious stomach problems (was definitely the restaurant, due to timing and other food that day - had only eaten cereal and an M&S sandwich). Took me nearly two hours to get home as was really ill in station toilets etc. So, I contacted the restaurant with a fairly humorous email expecting a note to say sorry and pop in for a free drink, or similar. What I got back was a note from the manager essentially blaming me, my system and the hot weather "As it is very hot weather maybe food idi not agree with your system". interestingly I had provided a list of the food I had ordered, in his email he immediately homed in on the Tuna - giving lots of reasons why it is fresh etc. Personally I thought it would be more likely that I picked something up from a salad, tossed with unwashed hands? So why home in on the tuna like this....? As I say, it looks a nice restaurant but I will not be going back due to the patronising and blame avoidance of the manager

Avatar for uncle

i first visited mem and laz on a dear friends birthday, found the whole atmosphere,food and service to be great and even better when the staff made us all dance on our seats to celebrate her birthday. since then i have gone back for 2 other birthdays, my own birthday and a valentines.amazing food with the tagliatelle a personal favorite.The fact they are expanding is a sign of the great quality they continue to provide. in an area where i swore never to visit a restaurant more than once, i keep returning at least for their homemade custard and apple pie! highly recommended.

Avatar for Thom

We were looking for a friendly place with a local feel to take some friends visiting for dinner and this hit the spot. Well sized tasty portions, good service that wasn't pushy or rude as other reviewers have mentioned and reasonable prices for London. The food was consistently well executed but it is more local taverna rather than fine dining. But we visited on a busy Saturday night and, sure the service was a little slow but the atmosphere more than made up for it.

Avatar for jeff
0 of 1 found helpful

Following me posting a review as to the restaurant's response to my email describing my food poisoning(as per my previous review) i got this email from the owner: "We are to busy to spend time in front of computer sir we are more dedicated to customer service and good quality food so we are serving more 5000 people a week in this street so enjoy your sad life Kind regards mem" Nice response! I shall enjoy my 'sad life' at other restuarants in future.