Miznon, London W1: ‘None of this is entirely serious’ – restaurant review | Food

It would have been easy to miss Miznon’s Soho opening, even for a keen restaurant fan, because it’s an international chain helmed by celebrity Israeli chef Eyal Shani that serves stuffed pitas and sides like whole roasted cauliflower and broad bean stew. Even if Miznon had caught your eye, you might think twice, because the menu, in green and red ink and comic sans font, is profoundly confusing and, worse, dares to feature jokes. The recklessness! There is no place on a modern British menu for anything like humor or character. Oh no, sir. Here at Blighty, we expect a haughtily presented options list with, at most, a brief history of the owner, and giving nothing away from the bear pit of 24/7 emotional carnage with baskets of bread that is “hospitality”.

Miznon then launches on Broadwick Street after successful careers in Tel Aviv, Paris, Vienna, Singapore, Melbourne and New York. It’s loud, staffed by what seems like a cast of thousands, housed in a lovely, simple room and offers high-quality Tel Aviv-influenced street food. The menu feels like sleep deprivation, complete with inside jokes and a Benny Hill monologue fed into free translation software and switched multiple times from Hebrew to French and English.

'A Slimy Beast': Miznon's 'Deep Satisfaction' pita is stuffed with long-cooked brisket, melted cheddar cheese, and pickled chiles and gherkins.‘A Slimy Beast’: Miznon’s ‘Deep Satisfaction’ pita is stuffed with long-cooked brisket, melted cheddar cheese, and pickled chiles and gherkins.

Let’s enjoy Miznon on the subject of pita: “Each of our pitas is bringing out its birthmark, and it’s different from the other (it’s about recreation, not assembling), each of them is creating a precise direction, and it’s always you. Only the divine pleasure that comes out of it is the same.” And what will I have on this flatbread? Thick and juicy lamb kebab? Crystal shrimp with sour cream and “tomato ovaries”? How about falafel with Guinness “black blood,” the “insides” of a roasted cauliflower, or the record-breaking moment that is “cottage pie.”

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The trick here is to keep your nerve, let go of all British fears of madness, and let the chaos engulf you, because the food is extraordinarily good. It’s a repeat customer, “how are they doing this?” -good level. The “Deep Satisfaction” pita bread is stuffed with rich, long-cooked beef brisket, shredded and tossed with melted cheddar cheese, and served with a crisp pickle pickle and pickled green chili. This pita does exactly what it promises, rather lasciviously, on the menu. Don’t order this to share though. It’s a meaty, cheesy, slimy beast that will burst right out of your shirt. This is food to eat alone.

The 'Run Over' Baked Potato in Miznon, Soho, London‘Real carb heaven’: The baked potato ‘run over’ in Miznon, London W1.

Meanwhile, Miznon’s “run over” potato has haunted my dreams for weeks. The potato is baked until its skin reaches the zenith of oily, salty crispiness, then covered in obscene amounts of butter and cream, before being placed between two sheets of parchment paper and squashed, leaving a sticky, creamy mat of mash. fluffy and shredded. jacket, which you then unwrap. The true paradise of carbohydrates.

At this point in my journey through Miznon, I realized that this is not some forgettable, shabby-chic spin on “street food”, but rather something designed for greatness. Shani’s version of a delicious hoppy sustenance is full of bounty, heat, salt, cream and fat. A glorious puddle of silky, oily hummus is topped with soft chickpeas and tomato, and comes with fluffy mopping bread; if desired, you can have lamb ragout as an additional garnish. A whole head of cauliflower, seared around the edges and stuffed with melted butter, is no longer one of my five a day, because such decay robs it of any health value, but oh well.

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'Decay robs you of any health value':” Miznon's Baby Whole Roasted Cauliflower.‘Decadence robs you of any health value’: Miznon’s Baby Whole Roasted Cauliflower.

Miznon is the kind of place where you should treat your first visit as a try. Accept the help of the servers and let them do the trouble of ordering. They are charming, cheerful and understanding when you see “whole roasted broccoli tree dripping on your shoes” and mystery sides like “brown meat” on the menu.

Having fully captured the essence of Miznon, I will return to try the spaghetti bolognese pita, possibly with a side of roasted beetroot and horseradish carpaccio. Or perhaps the “Intimate” pita, which is a Tel Aviv twist on beef stew with root vegetables. The “all day English breakfast” pita with chopped steak, lima beans and spicy tomato sauce will drive full English purists half crazy, but nothing about Miznon is entirely serious or cares about rules; all they care about is that you stumble out the door completely sated and with the top button of your pants undone.

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'A sort of Middle Eastern panna cotta': Miznon's malabi pudding is 'drown in rosehip syrup'.‘A sort of Middle Eastern panna cotta’: Miznon’s malabi pudding is ‘drown in rosehip syrup’.

The pudding was a large wobbly portion of very sweet malabi, a sort of Middle Eastern panna cotta, drowned in rosehip syrup. The only other sweet option is “sugar-glazed banana fillets with dolce [sic] of milk, whipping cream and broken shortbread cookies”. I’ll bring the Dent clan here for Christmas when I get tired of recycling turkey. As far as restaurant recommendations go, that’s really as good as it gets.

  • miznon 8 Broadwick Street, London W1 (no phone). Open all week, from noon to 11:00 p.m. (Sunday at 10:00 p.m.). From around £20 a head, plus drinks and service.

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