Dalston’s prime spot for a Turkish grilling, big flavours drawing in big crowds.
Benefiting from Dalston’s gentrification, 19 Numara Bos Cirrik has firmly established itself as the hipsters’ ocakbası of choice, yet standards haven’t slipped at this ever-busy joint. First impressions are positive: the bread is piping-hot, feather-light, smoky and carrying hints of onion and tomato. As it’s grilled right beside the kebabs, waiters helpfully warn customers the bread may contain ‘meat juice’. The pide is every bit as good. Our sucuklu yumurtali pide (pepperoni and egg) was delicate and golden, with crisp edges and just the right amount of cheddar, tomato and green peppers. Another main, lamb beyti, was excellent too, its balance of garlic, chilli and smoky charcoal tones just right. However, starters were bland: imam bayıldı didn’t seem fresh and the mücver needed more dill and mint to give it flavour. The restaurant’s interior doesn’t have much personality to speak of, and the piped muzak doesn’t help. Service can be aloof and it would be nice to see more than two Turkish bottles on the wine list. Nevertheless, with sensible pricing, solid cooking and nice little touches such as izgara sogan (grilled onions in pomegranate sauce) coming with every meal, this east London institution remains a good bet.