I am a freelance writer, editor and teacher based in north London.
Published November 16th 2012
Charlie Chaplin films and seafood linguine
Sitting in a quiet corner of Crouch End (opposite the fantastic Queens pub on Tottenham Lane) sits one of the most enjoyable café slash restaurants in the area. During the day Melange Restaurant provides a surrogate sitting room for a whole legion of Crouch End mums but still reserves an area for child-free patrons, such as myself. At night, things get a little more refined in the shape of a fantastic Italian menu.
The price is similar to that of a canteen (£8-£10 for many of the mains), but instead of getting a plate of standard pasta grub, you get a wonderfully crafted, home-made bowl of joy.
We started with the pesto garlic bread and it was the size of a small main. Home baked bread coated in a delicious red pesto dressing= a happy diner. I'd ordered their second cheapest (I am a true connoisseur) red wine and can happily report that it tasted better than most reasonably priced reds. So far so good.
Then came the mains; seafood linguine for me and the vegetarian ravioli for my girlfriend. The linguine was excellent, piled high with clams and prawns and with just the right amount of fragrant chili and garlic sauce. The ravioli also received great feedback and then we finished with the cheese board and a cognac. What could be better? The bill came in at £40; a bit of a bargain, if you ask me for three courses, wine and a spirit.
This was a great evening, made memorable by the attentive staff, the exceptional food and the Charlie Chaplin films projected onto the wall. There is something about that little tramp that turns an evening into an event. It's a truly great touch for a restaurant. All in all, I couldn't recommend this place more.
Charlie Chaplin films are projected onto the walls.
They claim to have been inspired by the 'total' experience of European restaurants, where dining out is like stepping into a different world. I think, in some ways, they have achieved a comparable effect. Wonderful.