Between Crouch End and Finsbury Park there’s a little gem: a short walk from Crouch Hill Rail station is the enigmatic restaurant The Triangle. With lots of plants on its wooden decking and tables, it’s hard to establish what sort of place it is but, as soon as you open the door, it feels like you are in Morocco.
The smell of shisha and the staff greet you at the door and enthusiastically guide you to your table. It takes a moment to fully absorb The Triangle as it’s just not what you would expect – It’s a little Moroccan grotto of delight. There’s so much going on: the brightly coloured mosaic tables, the ceiling covered in red rugs, a fez, a table and a brown paper bag stuck there as if this is a parallel world. The Triangle has a glow to it, aided by the deep reds and oranges, and the hundreds of flickering lights add to the effect. In the back it’s like being in a cave, with little alcoves for diners. There’s even a little corner where you sit on the floor on cushions with a large hookah pipe. Sitting there you feel as if you are in your own little private room – it’s fabulous.
The menu is extensive and full of oddities. For starters you can choose from crocodile satay (£7.95), curried chicken with tabbouleh, filo nest and pineapple salsa (£5.50), spicy falafel with cheese (£5.45) or smoked duck with beetroot carpaccio (£5.75). The curried chicken is presented beautifully with a filo pastry bowl stuffed with the tabbouleh. The chicken is tender with a sprinkling of spice and a lemony zing, and the spiciness of the chicken and the refreshing tabbouleh go wonderfully together. The falafel is a good portion size and the addition of the cheese gives a bit of a kick.
The waiters are very attentive and incredibly conscientious, making your dining experience very fluid. If you look a bit parched, they will give you water from an authentic looking earthenware jug, to continue the theme of the place. And if you are a bit peckish, the bread as a side comes in a straw basket and the olives are presented on a leaf shaped china dish with the butter placed in a minute pot with painted eyes – little touches that make The Triangle special.
Main courses include a mix of Moroccan and curious dishes for you to pick, such as the kangaroo fillet steak with vegetable stir fry noodles (£15.95), lamb tagine with prunes and almonds (£13.95), goat’s cheese and asparagus tart with spinach, sun dried tomato and salad (£10.75) or venison sausages with mash potato, cabbage and braised lentils (£11.95). Kangaroo is an unusual meat to put on the menu but at The Triangle they like to do things a bit differently. As interesting as it might sound, it’s actually a bit of a let down. It looks great on the plate, wrapped in a cabbage leaf, but this very lean meat can be a bit chewy and what is most surprising is the lack of flavour. The accompanying sweet and sour noodles do not go very well with it. On the other hand the lamb tagine is faultless. The lamb hardly needs any cutting as it is so tender and the tart prunes and sweet apricot and honey sauce work in perfect harmony together. It’s a blissful dish.
There’s a small wine list with house wine starting at around £12 per bottle (the only wine available by the glass). There is a Moroccan Merlot (£19), if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous. They also do some tasty cocktails at £6.95 a pop for the usual suspects; Long Island Ice Tea, Margarita, Daiquiri etc. For those who prefer beer there are six to choose from including Le Coq Premium Extra and Kirin.
The Triangle is a place to go with a big group of friends for a fun night out, and also suits couples who want a cosy dinner together in stunning surroundings. It is most certainly a place where you will not be disappointed by the visuals and the food. Perhaps just stick to the Moroccan dishes as they are expertly cooked and excellently created.