I have written about the New Art Exchange over by the Forest Recreation Ground on Gregory Boulevard before, but I had never been in on a Sunday before. We were over that way this past weekend doing a bit of shopping at the Indian Supermarket and as it was open we popped in for some lunch.
You can always rely on this place to provide some freshly cooked and less commonly available food. I took advantage of the chalkboard special of a Chapli Kebab for £4.95. I knew this was going to work out just fine when I saw the chef in the back scratch cooking my lamb. The board said that it was ‘chargrilled to order’ and that was certainly true. It took about 15 minutes to come out, but that was fine as they had copies of the Sunday papers available for perusal.
The lamb had that deep spice, the sort that is not hot when you first bite in, but that creeps up on you slowly and then stays with you for the rest of the afternoon. It was a simple meal in theory but the flavours were more complex than you would expect for the price. It was so nice that I was to be inspired to cook my own version later in the week and I even was to make chapatis from scratch (but that is story for another day). The rest of the plate was just a simple salad and some paratha bread, but that was all that you needed, the lamb was the main event.
Sunday Mezze Menu at NAE
One of the things I really like about the New Art Exchange is that they provide a really good cross cultural menu, and they don’t pander to any one, it’s almost like, look here are a whole load of dishes from around the world reflecting the diversity of the people who live around here, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
On a Sunday they have a mezze deal where you can get two plates and a glass of wine for £7.50, and with dishes from Lebanon, Persia, India, Palestine, and Ghana it looks to be a real culinary adventure at a real bargain of a price.
The Mou’sakhan from Palestine was the plate that I had the most desire to encounter, this is grilled chicken, marinated with sumac and thyme, served on a crostini with caramalised onions. If I had not already ordered and eaten that Spiced Lamb then I would have been all over this offering!
Sunday Brunch Menu at NAE
If you don’t want to go down the Mezze route, you can also try one of their deli inspired selections such as a plate of Smoked Mackerel on Rye with a Poached Egg and Rocket for £4.95, I can see that working out for you. You could even go all New York on us with a Freshly Grille Bagel topped with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese for just £3.95.
There really is a great and very diverse selection of options on the New Art Exchange café menu, which is why it is such a joy to come here for lunch on any given day including a Sunday.
You can ride the tram up from the city and alight at the Forest Stop, or you can take advantage of the large car park at the park and ride site and walk the few 100 yards along to 39-41 Gregory Boulevard.