Address: 34 Trinity Road, Tooting, London, SW12 7RE (basically just down from the station)
Price: £10-£20 a head, including wine
*Exclusive Champagne Charlie Toilet Niceness Rating*: **
I spend quite a lot of time dragging my poor, long suffering besties to restaurants where I suspect they don’t really want to go. There was the York vegan restaurant, the Chinese restaurant/nightclub, and the Soho transvestite café (my mistake) to name but a few. They are always uncomplaining, enthusiastic and brave in the face of food poisoning, which is probably why they are my chums. So when my friend Emma asked me if I wanted to go to Meza, which I definitely did, I was literally bouncing off the walls. And it turns out to be really very good.
Firstly, Meza is designed for morons. It is a teeny tiny restaurant, with room for only about 12 people, and they do two sittings a night. Organised, grownup people book decades in advance but when I rang up just the day before they didn’t laugh in my face – in fact, they were v. nice. They booked us into all available slots for the next 20 years, and said they would call to remind me when I’d booked, and if there were any cancellations. And they actually did, so when Carlos, Kenneth or whoever rang to say “Charlotte, we can’t wait to see you tonight!”, I was really rather glad/suprised.
Inside, it’s a bit surreal. It really is small, and you can see the whole of the kitchen which gives it a sort of cosy, Lebanese dinner party kind of feel. It was hot, and sort of smokey, and everything looked and smelt great.
There was some kind of long, tantalizing menu I think, but as I said, Meza caters beautifully for the inept and slightly tiddly. You can just whack them a tenner (I think, or maybe £15) and they’ll just bring you miscellaneous ‘Lebanese stuff’, which is ace. Like a medieval renactment banquet they bring you course after course, none of which you know what it is and all of which is fresh and delicious. From what I can remember (which is not much at all), we had hummus, baba ghanoush, dolmades, tabbouleh, hot pitta bread, stuffed halloumi pitta (AMAZING), spanikoptia, some mince-filo pastry things, spinach, hot spicy sausages, some sort of lamb pizza-bread (goooood), some grilled lamb, and loads more which is all a blur.
Wine-wise, Mezza is again designed for the tired and simple. You can have red or white. It’s from the Lebanon, and it’s very cheap – not that it matters, because you actually don’t have a choice. I was a bit dubious, but actually, it was pretty good. The red was much better than the white.
In short, Mezza is fantastic. The people are nice, and the restaurant is snuggly. The food is hot, delicious, well-cooked and interesting, and the wine is cheap and easily drinkable. It’s not arsey, it’s not pretentious, and it’s not going to propel you into bankruptcy – it’s simply good and it’s well worth a visit.
NB: They don’t have a website, you have to call some blokes mobile number to book – it’s 07722 111299.
N.V.B: Please don’t be put off my the series of highly unappealing and blurry photos, got a bit carried away and never made it past the starters.