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by Tim Lamden
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Word of Melange had been doing the rounds on Internet forums for some time before I sat down to sample its mix of French and Italian cuisine.
Perched on the junction of Elder Avenue and Topsfield Parade, opposite The Queens pub, the restaurant is in the heart of Crouch End and seems to have captivated local foodies since its opening in June.
The restaurant’s interior is described by the owners as “industrial-vintage” and this contemporary style is intriguingly accompanied by screens showing clips of Charlie Chaplin and, more recently, footage from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
My friend and I dined al fresco at one of Melange’s charming outdoor table arrangements during our visit. We began by sharing the Pissalidiere, a delightfully light and crispy homemade flatbread with caramelised onions and anchovies.
I added to this, through pure gluttony, with an individual starter of bresaola carpaccio, a platter of finely sliced beef with rocket, parmesan and a splash of lemon juice to bring the assortment to life.
45 Topsfield Parade, Tottenham Lane, N8 8PT
Tube: Finsbury Park
Tel: 020 8341 1681
Mains: From £9.50
Wine: From £15.95
Children welcome: Yes
Disabled access: Yes
For my main course, I ignored earlier forum chatter billing Melange as the purveyors of Crouch End’s finest steak and opted for the chef’s signature roasted duck breast.
Cooked to perfection, the pan roasted fillets were served pink, moist and garnished with a magical griottine cherry sauce, alongside roasted sweet potatoes.
My dining companion enjoyed the chargrilled butterflied chicken breast with a creamy mushroom sauce and gratin dauphinois, a dish she had no problems devouring.
To finish, we picked two highlights from Melange’s list of desserts, each dipping between a delicious crème caramel and a mouth-watering chocolcate fondant served with vanilla ice cream.
On a fine summer evening there can’t be too many better spots to enjoy a bite to eat in Crouch End.
If you can’t get there by night, Melange offers an extensive breakfast and lunch menu.