Bella Cosa Halal Italian Canary Wharf London restaurant

E. Mono (Kentish Town) vs Mono Wraps (Holloway), London

We recently published a news piece covering the ongoing dispute between two kebab brands in north London, E. Mono in Kentish Town and Mono Wraps in Holloway.

During the course of our research, and after having also dined at each restaurant, we decided that an inaugural head-to-head would make for a more exciting editorial.

What makes this clash all the more intriguing though, is how the accusation of trademark violation made by E. Mono against Mono Wraps is connected to the former’s original ownership.

The dispute essentially touches on whether the owners of Mono Wraps might also be the original proprietors of E. Mono when the eatery shot to fame in 2011 after receiving critical acclaim from renowned food writer Giles Coren.

E. MONO

HALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu • Alcohol served

E.Mono (Turkish) Kentish Town, London

If you consider yourself a Turkish kebab connoisseur of London, but haven’t heard of Kentish Town’s E. Mono in Camden, then you might want to question your credentials.

E. Mono (Turkish) Kentish Town, London

E. Mono’s humbling beginnings back in 2011

E. Mono hit the lime light in 2011 when Times’ food critic Giles Coren (all the rage back then) mentioned this unassuming eatery as his new go-to kebab fix destination.

Although the charming old, hand-painted fascia, which was found to date back to the early 20th century following its rediscovery during the kebab shop’s renovation in 2010, has since been given the modern upgrade, the E. Mono logo still retains the original’s elegant style font.

E.Mono (Turkish) Kentish Town, London

Current co-owner, Ali Celabi, proudly standing beside his cash cow, celebrity food critic, Giles Coren.

Unlike its humble beginnings, which started as a single shop front, E. Mono’s success has led to its expansion, with seating available indoors, and the opening of a convenient takeaway hub next door.

Of course, the man responsible for this brand’s recognition, Coren, continues to be fully milked for all he’s worth, with both his news articles proudly displayed as blown-up copies on the shop front window and hanging on walls therein.

KEBABS
E.Mono (Turkish) Kentish Town, London

Mix Grill – Mix shawarma, lamb & chicken shish, kofte kebab, £15.90

So this is what it’s all about – E. Mono’s famous Mix Grill which comprises everything the award-winning joint has to offer, with mixed lamb and chicken shawarma, lamb and chicken shish, and a lamb kofte kebab.

E.Mono (Turkish) Kentish Town, LondonFor £15.90, there’s plenty of freshly cut salad too to help make your way through a plate that doesn’t much care for looks as it does taste and flavour.

For us, the least strongest part of this meat platter was the kofte kebab which, though flavourful enough with some solid charring, erred a little on the non-soft side. Texturally, we would have preferred this more plump and meatier.

And while the chicken and lamb shish were succulent and juicy enough, the latter wasn’t quite as tender as some of the better ones we’ve had.

Otherwise, the mix shawarma was arguably the best thing there. With plenty of taste, we were searching for little scraps across the plate by the end of it all.

THE ROAR
E. Mono
4 FTL's Roar
4.3 Pride's Roar (2 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
FSA HYGIENE RATING
Last Checked: 20/11/2020
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • DELIVEROO
  • JUST EAT
  • UBER EATS
Summary
We finally got a glimpse of what it was that excited Giles Coren enough back in 2011 to heap the praises he did on E. Mono in an article published in The Times.

Of course, whether it was the current owners or the owners of Mono Wraps who were directly involved in serving those praise-worthy kebabs a decade ago is open to debate.

As it currently stands, however, while the selection of kebabs at the current iteration of E. Mono aren't the best we've ever had, what with the world having moved on since 2011, we thoroughly enjoyed these nonetheless.

But the big question still remains: Who is the better one when it comes to kebabs?

For an answer to that, you'll have to read our review of Mono Wraps next...
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E. Mono
285-287 Kentish Town Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 2JS.

T: +44 (0)20 7485 9779 | W: @e.monokebab

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30-23:00

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MONO WRAPS

HALAL STATUS Fully Halal

Mono Wraps (Halal Turkish) Holloway, London

Mono Wraps is ideally located in north London’s Holloway, with plenty of footfall assured from London Metropolitan University and Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium just around the corner.

Mono Wraps (Halal Turkish) Holloway, LondonHaving only recently opened in August of this year, the restaurant itself is located on the corner of Holloway Road and Hornsey Road.

Not only does its shopfront fascia boast a similar style font to that of E. Mono’s, but like its Kentish Town rivals, the owners here too are utilising Coren’s praise of E. Mono, with a framed portrait of the food critic and his article hung inside.

Mono Wraps (Halal Turkish) Holloway, London

The brains behind Mono Wraps, Michael Ustun, also claims to be behind the establishment of E. Mono back in 2011

And the reason behind the use of The Times’ article revolves around the man above, Michael Ustun, who claims to have been behind the original launch of E. Mono in 2010.

With seating for around 12 available indoors, the brand’s main focus, of course, is on their wraps, with 10 meat options and six veggie versions to choose from, as well as halloumi and inhouse made humus.

KEBAB WRAPS
Mono Wraps (Halal Turkish) Holloway, London

Mix-of-3 (Feed the Lion off-the-menu special; available on request onl) – Lamb or Chicken Shish, lamb kofte, lamb & chicken shwarma, £9.99

Available at the same price as their Mix Any 2 Shish item, this Mix-of-3 is an off-the-menu item which can be ordered on request by mentioning ‘Feed the Lion’.

Mono Wraps (Halal Turkish) Holloway, LondonNow, if you haven’t already, then we want you to just focus on the interior of this kebab wrap and ask yourself the following question: when was the last time you had a takeaway wrap where the lamb turned out perfectly pink in colour? Exactly!

As soon as we saw its cross-section, we got excited. To describe our first bite was difficult; so let us sum it up as follows: this is one of the best kebab wraps we have EVER had!

Every meat element was expertly judged, and so juicy that we couldn’t care less if there was any sauce added to this. Truth be told, we’d rather enjoy the umami taste of the meats therein for themselves.

Nonetheless, the sharp acidic hints of pickle helped to enhance the overall experience. Just be sure to have this fresh there and then to get a sense of our utter enjoyment.

THE ROAR
Mono Wraps
4 FTL's Roar
4.5 Pride's Roar (3 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • NO/ NO
FSA HYGIENE RATING
Last Checked: 20/11/2020
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • DELIVEROO
  • JUST EAT
  • UBER EATS
Summary
Looking past whether the owners behind Mono Wraps, including Michael Ustun as the restaurant's apparent patriarch, were indeed behind E. Mono when food critic Giles Coren made them famous, there's no denying the quality of this place.

Michael and his son only served us one of the best kebab wraps we've ever had! Now, it's true that having a wrap doesn't precisely equate to a bare-boned mixed grill; but, we'd bet our bottom quid that their kebabs wouldn't disappoint if had au naturale.

Granted we've rated both E. Mono and Mono Wraps 4/5; but the latter would have been rated higher had the menu not been so limited. Having said that though, if we had to choose between the two, it would be Mono Wraps simply on account of how incredibly good their wraps were.

FOOD
PRICE
ATMOSPHERE
SERVICE
What people say... Leave us your Roar below...
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Mono Wraps
234 Holloway Road, Holloway, London N7 8DA.

T: +44 (0)20 3488 6656 | W: @monowraps

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-22:00

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