Miznon

Capturing the souls of cities across the world (Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Singapore, Boston), cult-classic Miznon has landed on Soho’s buzzy Broadwick Street.  Founded by celebrity chef Eyal Shani and renowned for its fresh, vibrant Israeli bites – notably fluffy pitta – this smash-hit restaurant celebrates the flavours of the Mediterranean.  And it does so in an upbeat, fun setting with a playlist featuring all the popular tunes from the last few years that you want to sing along to.

Designed by long-time Miznon design partner, Jakov Turjeman, the Soho restaurant carries forth Miznon’s classic rustic design features of ornate tiles, and signature olive green that have become recognisable of the restaurant’s global personality.  It all feels very Tel Aviv, especially sitting at the kitchen-counter where all the fun of any restaurant lies.  Think late-night pitta and hummus, chefs sparking up conversation, a buzzy atmosphere and friendly staff.  This is fast-casual food the Levantine way.

Speaking of his opening in London, Shani commented: “A whole world of fairytales lay in London, coming from a crown that has never been dropped…I feel like Alice in Wonderland entering London. And I’m looking forward to seeing how the magic we instil can put color in this story…”.  Translating those metaphors into the menu, Miznon use fresh and seasonally-inspired ingredients to make pitas that “take the flavour of each city and translate it into pita“.  Describing his motivation, he explains, “I feel passionate about bringing the beautiful broken sun of London into my Pita through the colorful creatures that grow from your magical land.”

Both the filled pittas, including one featuring the “best falafel you’ll ever try”, and the soft pitas served with huumus seem to attract an equally rapturous reception wherever they open.  As my favourite way to enjoy the humble pitta is with hummus we shared the best Hummus plate that you will ever eat (£12).  Is its descriptor deserving?  Though likely a superlative, the plate delivered all fronts: creamy, tahini laden, topped with a generous adornment of fresh chickpeas and a green chilli salsa.  It sat beautifully alongside the other Out of the Pita plates – the centrepoint to any mezze, a must order.

Also Out of the Pita, the menu sees the renowned Baby whole roasted cauliflower melted into its own crown (£11), another must order.  Roasted in a soaring hot oven, skin-on-and-all, I can see why this cauliflower – served without a plate, just wrapped in foil – has become legendary: an all-round depth of flavour, a charcoal-finish to the cauliflower florets, crispy leaves which are utterly moriesh and a tender finish. 

The Ratatouille, on tahini (£14) is another standout – mainly because it’s heavy on the aubergine, cooked right down until it’s oozing out its skin and then swimming in a pool of tahini.  Melt-in-the-mouth.  It’s also finished with their signature green chilli salsa which provides just the right punchy kick.

Probably the most disappointing was the Lima beans stew topped with olive oil, tomato’s ovaries, hot peppers (£11).  Though I’m a fan of using all (body) parts of a tomato, the grated tomato is fairly minimal  and the result was a very beige looking and tasting dish.  Whilst finished with – yes, more tahini – the bowl was lack-lustre, with no ingredient or flavour grabbing your attention and retaining your interest, like the other dishses.    

Miznon has that Friday night feeling about it, though our visit on a Monday night provided a welcome kick start to the week (and August).  I’m not expecting this place to stay quiet for long, not just thanks to its loud soundtrack.                                          

Miznon, 8 Broadwick St, London W1F 8HW

Website: https://www.miznon.co.uk/

Rating: ***

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