Freelance writer with a passion for anything that involves eating and drinking.
Published January 25th 2014
Image from Mr Lawrence website
As an English girl living in Melbourne I rather naively dragged my boyfriend to Mr Lawrence @ The London expecting a nostalgic eating experience involving bangers and mash and various types of pie. I was wrong. Mr Lawrence @ The London neither has English décor nor English cuisine, but what it does have is so much better. Instead we were treated to a Middle Eastern taste sensation and I can now assume that Mr Lawrence is referring to Lawrence of Arabia and the London part refers to the hotel in which the restaurant is associated.
Semantics aside, I'll move on to the food. Bearing in mind that my boyfriend and I were suffering from the awful illness called "whiskey hangover" and we needed a lot of food to cure us of this ailment, please reserve your judgment regarding how potentially fat we are/how greedy we are.
TO START we ordered some hummus with spiced lamb and sumac that we had demolished by the time our first round of the hair of the dog (wine this time) had arrived. This was an amazing blend of flavours but unfortunately half of it ended up on the table as we frantically grabbed at it with the bread. The first dish is always the least appreciated as it is simply there just to fill the hunger void. We were both now slightly less hangry (hungry and angry) and ready to concentrate on the rest of the starters that we had ordered. Once again I must tell you to reserve judgment, as I quite often over-order due to hunger and excitement.
Next to the table came the marguez sausages with chickpeas and tomato jam, the lamb and pinenut boureks with mint labne and the kataifi balls with haloumi, fig and currants. The kataifi balls were my favourite. Tiny little bird nests filled with haloumi, we ordered another serving. The flavours were amazing and I was genuinely impressed that they had produced such great food in so little time. The starters didn't last very long, about the same amount of time it takes a thirsty person to finish a wine.
THE MAINS came a bit too quickly but I knew I had to man up and start eating again before my boyfriend had gobbled his way through the lot: Ras el hanout chicken skewers with tomato, almonds and couscous, sticky pulled lamb shoulder with lentil pilaf and a complimentary cauliflower salad with cracked wheat, almonds, pomegranate, currants and herbs from the waitress. I think by this point the waitress was slightly impressed that someone so small could eat so much. I felt rather pleased with myself. The sticky pulled lamb was sensational and I could eat it again and again, whilst the other dishes weren't quite as outstanding but I was happy with what I had eaten.
My advice, go to Mr Lawrence @ The London and go wearing stretchy pants and with an empty stomach. Amazing food, amazing place on the waterfront, I'm definitely going back!