Mem & Laz: A Bellydancing Birthday

A few weeks ago was A’s birthday and to celebrate a group of us went out to dinner to this Mediterranean place called Mem & Laz off of Upper Street in Angel. Let’s just say A got more than just dinner.

Mem & Laz

If you have never been to Upper Street or not familiar with the area there are quite a few restaurants to choose from–everything from the usual chains (i.e. Masala Zone, Nando’s, Pizza Express and even Weatherspoons) to the cute back corner spots to the higher end restaurants. Whatever your mood Upper Street in Angel can cater to any international food craving. Mem & Laz fits into the category of the back corner spot with amazing amounts of charm and character. It’s located right off Upper Street about a five-ten minute walk north from Angel tube station on Theberton St.

8 Theberton Street N1 0QX


Mem & Laz was actually recommended by one of our flatmates who went there one night with her parents and loved the atmosphere and the food. The restaurant is spread over two floors packed in with tables to accommodate the line of people waiting out the door. Luckily C and I went a few days in advance to reserve a table for the busy Saturday night, which I would highly recommend since it seems the place is always busy no matter what night of the week it is–which is another indicator that the place is a champion.

Turkish Lamps

Inside the walls are covered with Turkish antiques and the ceiling has the most fascinating collection of Turkish lamps. The menu has plenty of choices to suit any preference with plenty of vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes as well as plenty of lamb, beef, chicken and seafood dishes for the meat-lovers like C and I. I had the special lamb kofte stuffed with cheese with a side salad of mixed Mediterranean vegetables and a side of mash. I would go back and probably order the same thing because it was so good. I’ve also heard the stuffed peppers are a restaurant hit, too. The dinner servings are plenty but if you are really hungry I would recommend going for one of the many starters or one of the amazing desserts. For drinks, there is a decent selection of wines, beers and spirits. We actually ordered an amazing bottle of tempranillo for only £12 (see picture).

Our Wine

So getting back to the birthday story, one of our friends got the waitress to bring up a free piece of cheesecake for me and even said to the waitress “don’t sing or anything because that would make A really embarrassed.” Well, they brought up the cake with the candle (even the Owner joined in—really sweet man who will come around and talk to your table, just look for him he will be making the rounds in the restaurant) and then they broke out into the typical birthday singing getting the entire second floor singing and clapping along. At this point I could handle the onslaught of public attention while thinking my time in the spotlight was coming to a very near end. Oh how I was wrong, what came next totally surprised me and probably everyone dining. They turned up the music and started asking for a belly dance! In my previous 24 years I have never been subjected to or even seen public humiliation via forced birthday dancing. However, with the great atmosphere and the friendly encouragement of everyone at Mem and Laz, I along with my friend who initiated the birthday trauma stood up and shook it a bit. This was also captured on video and no, this will never be posted.

It was actually a really great time and I can’t remember ever having so much fun at a restaurant. Now, our friends who went there with us want to go back for their birthday just to get a little belly dancing action and I suggest you do it too. So yeah, Mem & Laz you’re awesome and we will definitely be back.


1 Response to “Mem & Laz: A Bellydancing Birthday”

  1. 1 JY Foto February 13, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Sounds like a fine place to eat and “dance” – may have to plan a trip over for Mom’s birthday!


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