BLACK AXE MANGAL review
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
I’ve been following Black Axe Mangal for a while, and many a time I've almost licked my iPhone screen while scrolling through B*A*M's Instagram, so badly have I wanted to taste Lee Tiernan's food. The chance to eat those dishes for real finally arrived while filming my TV series Bwyd Epic Chris 2 with BRAT's Tomos Parry, who took me on a tour of his favourite London restaurants.
As I walked in, I instantly knew that B*A*M would be my new spiritual home. A glorious Gozney wood-fired oven covered in “The Warriors” graffiti = love at first sight. Lee Tiernan banging out squid-ink flatbreads, one hand on the steel flatbread peel, the other on the sound system cranking up heavy metal to the max. I was in awe watching the master at work; punching puffed-up black flatbreads with a stone pestle for the perfect yolk groove.
Lee set up an area for Tomos and I on the pavement outside - we needed all the tables and space we could get. One look at the menu and we ordered EVERYTHING. We started off with cocktails and Borscht (beet stew) shots. Every purple shot came with a sausage & pickled walnut cocktail stick followed by another shot of vodka. HAHAHA I FUCKING LOVE IT HERE!!
On to some ‘Crispy Fuckin Rabbit’. A right-angled parallelogram of crispy-crispy breadcrumbed low-and-slow, melt-in-the-mouth rabbit. Chilli sauce. Lime. BOOM!!!!
Next up, Lee’s tribute to his St John restaurant days. The dish I had been most excited to try after months of stalking B*A*M on Instagram - bone marrow & flatbread. The fire-roasted marrow topped with braised beef. Flatbread bubble-leoparding to the max and a pickled red onion and parsley salad.
If you know me, you know how much I love God’s butter - one smell of the plate and I was transported from sitting outside B*A*M with a Michelin-star chef in Highbury to a Sunday afternoon in 1991, Bryn Celyn, Caernarfon eating my nain Mrs Robaij’s beef & marrow stew. Every mouthful a beef-umami turbocharged punch in the face. My hands, lips, beard and cocktail glass all glistening with shiny marrow. Knife and fork barely used. Fucking amazing.
Lee brought out tempura Enoki 'shrooms and mapo tofu. Golden crispy mushroom like some 'shroom crackling and a hit of schezwan fire. Perfect after the previous beef OD. The lamb offal flatbread with garlic mayo was beautiful. Nose to tail, motherfucker!!! I’ve made a Welsh mutton & offal mixed kebab recipe as a Bwyd Epic Chris 2 homage to Lee and B*A*M.
The squid-ink flatbread. HOLY FUCK! Orange-red yolk and smoked cod’s roe covered with Black Axe space dust. Hands down one of the best things that’s ever been in my mouth!!! Black flatbread, squidgy, chewy, soft and lighter than a Japanese Zen cushion. Hot steam puffed out as I cut into the warm yolk and bread. The creamy glittery smoked cod’s roe meringue was fucking ridiculous and brought it all together. MIND BLOWN!!!!!
Loud music, powerful energy and next-level flavours that hit me harder than ‘The Warriors’ street gangs hit the Bronx. GO AND GET BLACK AXE MANGAL’D.