Tbilisi, Holloway Road

Lamb stew from Tbilisi, Holloway Road

I really don’t know a lot about Georgia. In fact, all I know about Georgia is that they have a flag a lot like ours and that it’s where Katie Melua is from. I’m about to send myself to Wikipedia to remedy that. But I do also now know that they have a hearty traditional cuisine of meaty stews and bakes, thanks to the sinister-looking but remarkably charming Tbilisi on Holloway Road.

House bake from Tbilisi, Holloway

House bake (£10.95)

It took me a while to actually get through the door of this place; its dark interiors don’t quite help it seem the friendly local it ought to want to be. And when we finally did go in we nearly left again, as we were the only living souls visible save a waitress and a few tropical fish. But I don’t regret sticking it out, because our dinner was bloody great; huge, hot, home-cooked dishes stuffed with unusual but not unfamiliar flavour combinations. The house bake of pork, mushrooms, onions and cheese had the potential to taste of absolutely nothing, but was rich with creamy sauces and gentle herbs. This is the sort of food you’d need after a long day of felling trees, or fishing, or, er, after a long journey on the Overground when your only other option is overpriced groceries from Sainsbury’s Local.

Tbilisi
★★★★✰   £££
91 Holloway Road, N7 8LT, 0207 607 2536

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