As I was planning the South London Food Trip with @siepert (do check it out, it’s going to be an amazing weekend), it occurred to me that some of the restaurants I visit the most are the ones I’ve never written about. Having worked in Camberwell on and off for the past 8 years I can confidently say that lunch options are, to put it mildly, limited. F M Mangal has therefore been the staff lunch outing destination of choice as long as I can remember. It will always be the case that some colleagues are more adventurous eaters than others, and while the idea of subjecting some of them to the chilli and/or offal content of the dishes at Silk Road makes me guffaw, F M Mangal Turkish charcoal grill has always been a safe option.
I know not of anyone who has ever less than loved the pomegranate dippy onion garlic appetiser, coming as it does with fluffy spice smeared flat bread and charred, sumac crusted veg (top photo).
The dippy bits and bobs, although nothing to write home about, are soothing in their familiarity; thick garlicky yoghurt and plastic pink Barbie taramasalata. The tobacco in the background doesn’t come with, I’m afraid. The lunch deal however, is my favourite thing about F M Mangal.
It includes a grilled meat skewer of your choice (well you know, one they have on the menu; no Ortolan), a little dome of buttery rice and a few salads (always very fresh; my favourite is the kohlrabi with again, lots of sumac) and, one of my favourite bits, a blistered mild chilli. A dollop of their lovely garlic and chilli sauces on the side plus a drink and you’ve spent £6, including the bread and pom dip. Such good value.
The disadvantage of lunchtime visiting is that one does smell of a charcoal grill for the rest of the day. That could be seen as a disadvantage I suppose but personally, I rather enjoy it…
F M Mangal
54 Camberwell Church Street
Tel: 0207 701 6677