a feast from the (not-so) mysterious east (that's dalston not the levant) and there's a party going on in my mouth!

heathcliffe's splendiferous mezze
What is a feast?
  • A festival of food
  • A joyous, happy meal
  • A sumptuous entertainment
  • Something highly agreeable, which is partaken of, or shared in, with delight
  • To gratify or delight (as in to feast your eyes or your soul)
  • To treat at the table bountifully
I haven’t seen my adored friend Heathcliffe for over a year and he has only recently moved back to London after several years away in the wilds of Norfolk. This was definitely an opportunity to celebrate. I had missed him and an invitation to his new gaff in Dalston was not going to be wasted. 

So welcome to Dalston, the new "too cool for school" area of east London, where the trendy urban hipsters, artists and musicians of Hoxton and Shoreditch have settled for a more affordable locale; where you are never more than five minutes from some form of mischief.

I had bought some supplies with me (a lamb tagine, some kisir and a few merguez sausages he asked me to track down for him from my local middle eastern deli). Heath, as I have mentioned before, is always a boy who needs food. He enjoys it. But this time, he presented me with the most glorious mezze feast for the senses; a trip around the Mediterranean; the Levant - a little bit of Greece, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, with a good lobbing of the Lebanon and Morocco thrown in for good measure.

What exactly are mezze? Well they are small plates of tidbits, a bit like tapas or antipasti. But unlike tapas, they are not intended to tickle your taste buds, but to give them a jolly good drubbing. They can be hot or cold, salty, spicy and savoury. They are often simple and always delectable; something to relish; a sublime eating experience. What's not to like? Eating lovely food with good friends, and bite size morsels of deliciousness.

Heathcliffe's mezze was a series of bowls of finger foods (with help from some cocktail sticks) that was an adventure in different flavours to make your lips smack and your heart sing. They were beautifully presented in white china, which highlighted the intense colours and enhanced the flavour.

The afternoon began on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon in mid July and stretched long into the evening on Heathcliffe's balcony. I cannot begin to tell you what a fabulous day it was. I met one of my dearest friends, who frankly is one of the most awe-inspiring people I have ever met. Seriously . . . he has the brain the size of a planet, yet he is funny, witty and charming - party geek genius, part creative dynamo, who loves his food and his music. Everyone should have a friend like Heath. 

And that day I got to meet one of Heath's favourite people, the divine Asad. A man after my own heart who I felt as if I had known forever from the moment we said hello. Probably one of the most beautiful people I have ever met on the inside and the outside. He called me "his little red firefly" (bless his rose-tinted glasses!)and I think he looks like A Rebel With A Cause - totally heavenly!

So with truly epic food, eclectic music, lashings of wine and fabulous company (you boys know who you are), it was a most agreeable mezze feast indeed. And personally, I think a mezze feast means "there's a party going on in my mouth!"


asad shaykh said...

an epic menu fit for an epic night! :)

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Seriously fabulous . . . we MUST do it again soon :)

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

You are making me so hungry.Makes me want to "go back to Dalston"

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Steady on! Let's consider this!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Deep breaths!

Northern Snippet said...

Im sooo hungry!

heathcliffe said...

Awww YOU! That's the kindest and loveliest thing ever. Thanks.

Come on over any time. Open invite for you and any readers that happen to be in Dalston.

I've missed entertaining and heaven knows the food is simple enough. Most of it's just stuff from jars. I totally lied about the prep time.

All the while you guys were chatting on the balcony and I was slaving in the kitchen, I was actually catching up with email. ;-)

Yeah. Summer time, and the mezze is easy.

Yr salad totally rocked though. I need a recipe for that, the lamb dish, AND the gammon with cider.

Thanks again, you.