Many people, when conjuring up images of traditional Turkish cuisine, will think of beautifully grilled meats, namely lamb, small plates – mezes, kebabs, and a wonderful blend of spices and aromatics.
Going far beyond the likes of the kebab shop treats and Turkish Delights – though the rose scented sweet treats are divine, the cuisine of the area is vast and varied with influences buried deep in history and geography.
Developed from Ottoman cuisine and combining elements from Mediterranean, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Balkan and Central Asian gastronomy, Turkish food offers up a tasty mix of regional dishes, which appeal to many, hence its far reach and large fan base.
Most cities you travel to will have a great selection of restaurants for you to indulge in this fine fare, and if you’re thinking of heading to London soon, or you live there and fancy trying out somewhere new, we have you covered.
Read on for four of our favourite Turkish restaurants across the capital; these fine eateries will have you drooling in no time.
Spread over two floors with great views of Wood Green high street, Tarshish has to be our favourite Turkish restaurant in North London. Serving up a blend of Turkish and Mediterranean grills in a beautifully designed, chic setting, the highly rated restaurant aims to highlight the culinary traditions of centuries old cultures and achieves this with ease. And with a retractable roof on the second floor, offering the perfect spot for summer dining, this might just become your favourite place to dine al fresco.
Expect a high-end dining experience including delights such as butter beef fillet and jumbo prawn platters for two, wild seabass, braised lamb shank and rib-eye steak to name a few. Mouth-watering charcoal grilled dishes can be served alongside a selection of salads and vegetable sides while seafood, vegetarian and cheese-based starters and small plates will offer a well-rounded dining experience that you’ll be coming back for time and time again.
Located close to Westminster Cathedral, Kazan Restaurant serves up contemporary takes on Ottoman cuisine in a cosy, elegant setting. Private dining options are available, and all tastes are catered for here with a delicious selection of seafood, salad, mezzes, vegetarian, vegan, slow-cooked and fire-grilled delights.
Try the Ottoman Grill – a selection of chicken and lamb shish and kofte with a chicken thigh and lamb chop, all marinated until tender and served with rice or chips. A slowed cooked lamb shank will surely please, as will fire roasted king prawns in a garlic sauce. If you’re a fan of the smaller plates then vegan jackfruit koftes, borek (feta wrapped in filo), tabbouleh, falafel and the like will surely whet your appetite.
Kibele Restaurant and Bar
Head to the heart of Great Portland Street for a visit to the super cool, cosy retreat that is Kibele. Creating traditional dishes from the variety of Turkey’s regions and serving them with a modern take to please diners, Kibele expertly blends a quality restaurant with a lively entertainment venue. But, don’t be put off by the thought of live music and belly dancers, this is an elegant set up that will wow any guest.
Drinks-wise, there is a fantastic selection of wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks to accompany the range of starter plates, platters, ‘home comforts’ and charcoal grilled meats and fish. Try Turkish style dumplings filled with minced lamb and spices, calamari, tiger prawns, spicy lamb skewers, oven-baked artichoke hearts and more – hungry yet?
And it’s not just good food and drink you’ll get here, music and dance performances from artists from around the world provide the perfect venue for an entire night out.
Creating delectable Anatolian dishes from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, Rüya London provides diners with a sumptuous experience in the city’s elite Mayfair district. Using seasonal ingredients and working with local suppliers and sourcing the exact spices to ensure only the finest fare is used, you can be sure of a good meal.
Plush interiors make a meal here a comfortable one, while drinks at the Mekan Bar provide a relaxing space to unwind before or after dinner. The ever-popular weekend brunches can be enjoyed here and a la carte offerings include grilled dover sole, 24-hour slow cooked short rib, lamb manti, halloumi and mixed leaf salad and tantuni – diced Wagyu beef. There are similar Turkish restaurants worldwide that share the exact authenticity, particularly when it comes to meat. For example, in Southern Africa, sliced Wagyu Beef is replaced with biltong meat in similar recipes.