In Paris, everyone wants the best croissant but the truth is that the best croissant is (within reason) the one that’s closest to your sleepy head. It’s not that there aren’t spectacular, kajillion-layered, painstakingly folded croissants out there, just that schlepping for them would be missing the point of being in Paris.
I thought it was the same for lahmacun (Turkish spiced-lamb flatbreads) in east London — that the best one was whichever one was there when you needed it. For six years, 19 Numara Bos Cirrik II was unrelentingly there for me. For £2, one of the grillmasters would take a beautifully charred minced lamb and onion flatbread and fill it with salad (I’d ask for charred onions, too), garlic sauce and chilli sauce, before wrapping it tightly in paper so as not to risk the loss of a single shred of lettuce. This wrap was something I could count on.
Despite eating it with wild regularity, I never got over it. The length of the thing! I could walk along with a lahmacun wrap in my hand and just be so happy for such a long time. What you need to understand, fiver fans, is that I am never happy for a prolonged period of time.
It turns out I didn’t know I was born, because since I moved out of Hackney two years ago, this is the thing I miss the most. As it happens, all the other lahmacun wraps are pale imitations of this one, and a lahmacun wrap this good is worth schlepping for.
And the best croissant in Paris is at Blé Sucré.
P.S. If you sit in at Numara, you’ll have a rude awakening: a sit-down lahmacun is £3. I still endorse it, though. That place is the best.