As Green Lanes moves north, almost imperceptibly things start to change. Ocakbasi become taverna; breakfast menus advertising sucuk and hellim announce lounza and halloumi instead; baklava… well baklava stays baklava. Although there are significant points of difference between Greek, Cypriot and Turkish cuisines, all three share vital roots: the same focus on barbecue, the communality of meze, and a rusticity that should not be mistaken for simplicity.
However where the Turkish community has created a thriving restaurant scene in Harringay, the Greek and Cypriot restaurants of Palmers Green show a different template on how an immigrant community weaves its food into a new city. Restaurants here are fewer and quieter, with the majority of food consumed either on the go or at home, supplemented with home cooking. And although there are a smattering of destination restaurants, this is still very much a food culture that caters for the needs of the local community, and must be engaged and navigated with in a way that goes beyond just sitting down for a meal.
Perhaps one day London’s food lovers will flock to this pocket of south Enfield from across the boroughs — but until then, this is one of the luckiest neighbourhoods in the capital.Read More