As I suspected, Olé, the Portuguese chicken place on the corner was next. However we are getting old and cranky and it didn’t take much to persuade us that this was more of a takeaway joint than we were in the mood for. They sell burgers and chicken, and we have already decided that when we get to the end of Enmore Road, Oporto is not on the Encore menu, It was hard to argue any real difference between Olé and Oporto.
“So, what’s next?”
“The New India Times?” Strop ventured.
“Okay, let’s check it out.”
“Finest Indian Restaurant?” I said, more of a comment than a question. “Next?”
We crossed the road, weaving our way through a friday-night gridlock of Mazdas and Hyundais, approaching the fabled Sultan’s Table as if it was some kind of oasis. There were plenty of people hanging around outside, either waiting for takeaways, or for a table inside. Luckily there were a couple of outside tables still free which suited us.
Sultan’s Table is a bit of an Enmore Road institution. It always looks busy and inviting, located on a corner, with the big dining room open to the street and every available surface fringed with lights. When we tell people we are now wending our way along Enmore Road, the places they refer to are Hartsyard, “that cheese place with the funny name,” and Sultan’s Table.
We settled ourselves in, and proceeded to over-order. Again. I’m beginning to think it might just be us.
When the Mixed Dips, Mixed Grill, and Imam Bayildi, were on the way, we thought about drinks. Sultan’s Table is byo and of course, we hadn’t. Luckily there is a serve yourself fridge full of soft drinks. We helped ourselves to some culturally inappropriate Passiona, in place of the the ginger beer we really wanted, but which they didn’t have.
Other punters seemed to be ignoring the drinks fridge and venturing further afield. While we were there, a steady stream of runners headed out to the nearest bottle shop, only to return minutes later with armfuls of six-packs and bottle-shaped brown-paper bags.
Another pedestrian of note was an ernest looking young punk, hustling along with a mic stand under his arm. Enmore Road does have its charms.
The dips were terrific. Eight of them, arranged very attractively. Plenty of hot and crunchy-outside/soft-inside turkish bread to wipe around in them. Yummerific.
Imam Bayildi turned out to be a whole eggplant stuffed with goodness, and the Mixed Grill had the tastiest and tenderest lamb I have had in a long time. The chicken and the adana were pretty good too, and there were plenty of salads and flat bread. Yum and double-yum. We managed to sort out all the protein and most of the dips, but there was an embarrassing amount of sumac-coated onion and red cabbage left on the platter when we paid up.
5/5 Debs – just the right amount of salt. (In other words we didn’t notice.)
3/5 Susans – there is an accessible toilet but you might have to move a car to get to it.
4/5 Wendys – pretty good value for more than we could comfortably handle.
I had been looking across the road at Cow and Moon all night and had noted that the queue had not yet stretched out the door and around the corner. Usually when we are ready for a bit of icy sweetness to finish off the evening, the queue is far too long, so we keep walking, heading for Hakiki, or even Gelato Blue. So even though we shouldn’t, we did.
My coffee and blood orange were excellent. Strop’s fortunes were more mixed. Her caramel popcorn was terrific – although in slurping up a taste, I managed to inhale a piece of popcorn which led to a bit of a coughing fit – but her nectarine was a bit too subtle for a friday night wander home, through the crowds of Enmore Road and King Street.
I think our next venture has something to do with meatballs that don’t come from Ikea. See you then.