We’re lucky enough to live in North London where the restaurant offering is constantly growing with new and wonderful places to try all within walking distance. One such place which has actually been open for over a year now is Black Axe Mangal on Highbury Corner.

The head chef is Lee Tiernan who was previously at the wonderful St John Bread and Wine. Now you may think oh this will be a similar style, but think again. Lee has taken his own style and gone for a Turkish kebab and metal music restaurant. It’s a small, simple restaurant with dark lighting inside and very loud music, perhaps a good one for any bad first dates to hide the awkward silences!


Unfortunately they offer a no booking policy, but the large queues seem to have died down. We got there at 7pm on a Wednesday and walked straight in without any waiting. If you do happen to get stuck there are plenty of pubs around, e.g. give The Brewhouse a go while you wait.


So push away any thoughts of greasy kebabs you may have had after a night out, unless it’s Best Mangal that of course is great at any time. BAM throws out the stereotypical kebab menu. We started up by sharing one of their flatbreads which is a must, we opted for the lamb offal, so tasty although nothing healthy about it mind you.

Black Axe Mangal

Next up was the smoked tamworth belly with burnt kimchi which I have to admit wasn’t my favourite. Was a little too fatty but of course that is the belly cut but just not a massive fan of the texture. Our other meat dish was the crispy pigs cheek, white cabbage and XO sauce. Much better than the belly in my view but see for yourself.

Surprisingly a real winner for me personally was the grilled hispi cabbage with fermented shrimp butter. Delicious, the shrimp butter added a wonderful extra dimension. Another simple but yet moorish dish was the hash browns, deep fried goodness.

And that brought us to the end of our first BAM experience, quick, dirty and flavoursome dishes. If you’re in the Highbury area definitely give the place a try. I’m sensing they’re going to have to find a bigger place sometime soon.