We hadn’t been to the movies in ages. The last one we went to was the one about Bletchley Park and the gay genius guy, which we quite enjoyed until everyone spoilt it by telling us how it wasn’t exactly history. Outrage! Who would have thought that Hollywood would mess about with the facts in order to tidy up the narrative? But as anyone who has dabbled around in this blog will know, I’m not all that fond of facts myself. So we were off to another Hollywood movie, having chosen the comfort food option of a romantic comedy, rather than the paleo-diet new Russian cinema classic. Sometimes you have to pass over the kale and go straight for the popcorn. The plan was to have dinner after the movie at Matee Turkish Grill, which I think is probably the last restaurant in the Middle Eastern enclave we have been eating our way through. We got out of the movie a bit early, so I suggested a quick beer at The Bank to while away half an hour until it was a decent time to eat. Little did I know, but more of that later. Strop tends to be a bit of an admirer of your craft beers so I bought her one with a witty, and immediately forgettable, hipster name, while I had a Cooper’s Pale. Despite it’s name, her beer won the taste stakes. My beer just tasted like beer. We whiled away the time sitting in the window, looking out on the passing King St parade, commenting on the length of people’s legs as well as their life choices. Eventually, our wit and our beer exhausted, we continued our journey along King St. I was starting to wish that we had caught the bus when we spotted Matee’s sign in the distance, but before we got there, Strop pointed out the new Pakistani place that has opened up next to Europe Grill. It was only then that we noticed that in what should have been Smash Sausage Kitchen was a new cocktail bar! Apparently soon after our visit, the sausage vendors had packed up and moved out, and over Easter the place got a blue and black paint job, emerging from its drop-cloth chrysalis as Mixology – although the sign for the street hadn’t arrived yet. We had a quick chat with the manager, sporting a thematically appropriate splash of blue in her hair (or it may just have been a bit of paint courtesy of the Easter makeover). She explained that as well as high-tech cocktails, incorporating something called ‘alcoholic bubbles’, they are also doing food, for the moment at least, something to do with the license transfer process. We were gobsmacked as we continued on our way down the road to Matee. Talk about churn. Where will I go for curry mash now? Matee Turkish Grill occupies two shopfronts. One half is the kitchen and takeaway, and the other is the restaurant. Unfortunately due to our procrastination at the pub and the cocktail bar, by the time we got to Matee the place was largely booked out. There was a bit of head shaking, and looking around at the occupied tables by the waiting staff. Then the young woman who seemed to be in charge said “Can you be finished in an hour?” Strop and I looked at each other. Could we? I was thinking that it rather depended on how fast they could put the food in front of us, but before I could think of a polite way to put this Strop had said “Yes.” We were shown to a table at the back of the restaurant, next to a pretty looking courtyard, that opens onto Angel Street. In the end we had plenty of time for two rounds of drinks, a shared platter of dips and salads, and a plate of grilled lamb. I stuck with beer, opting for the culturally appropriate Efes, while Strop moved on to the house red. The Matee Plate came with all the usual dips, tabouli, a kind of salsa, and probably the best falafel I have ever eaten. They were crisp and soft and tasty – triple yum. There was more than enough Turkish bread for the dips but the way they were presented on the plate in rows beside each other, meant that they soon turned into a bit of a muddle in which it was difficult to tell the baba from the hummus. Oh well, it all tasted good. The pieces of lamb in the Yoghurt Kebab were tender and tasty and drizzled with yoghurt. Their juices had flowed out onto a layer of croutons underneath. By the time our hour was up we were stuffed. On the way back up the hill we decided to stop off at the sign-less Mixology for a couple of quick dessert cocktails. We went for what we thought were culturally appropriate cocktails: pomegranate for me, and apple for Strop. They were tasty but were both very sweet. Unfortunately, due to the licensing conditions we had to order some food too. Garlic bread, from somewhere up the road (Europe Bar and Grill maybe?) was soon delivered to our table. After that lot we could hardly move. We had another quick stop off on the way home to watch a jazz band busking in front of the ‘I had a dream’ mural – it’s not every day you hear a euphonium solo on King Street. It felt very Treme and was a lovely foot-tapping reminder of last week at the BluesFest.