Set on one of London’s more diverse commercial streets, this enterprise has proven so successful that it now stretches to three separate operations in the space of four store-fronts: a low-key café frequented almost exclusively by Turkish men; a pâtisserie offering baklava, house-made ice-cream (try the creamy turkish delight variety) and other sugary goodness; and this larger-than-it-looks restaurant, always humming with custom from a wide variety of diners.
The menu covers all the Turkish basics, mostly with success. Starters include a richly flavoured, slightly fatty kelle paca (lamb soup), tempting lahmacun, the standard dips and other, unabashedly basic goodies: sahanda sucuklu yumurta, for instance (eggs and turkish sausage baked in a weighty oven dish).
The restaurant is famed for its pide pizzas, and ours was decent enough: not too doughy and generously topped. But you’re better off with the speciality tava stews (at least if you can spare the 30-45 minutes the kitchen takes to cook them) or the grilled meats: the chicken is fine, but the lamb sis and lamb beyti are better bets. Prices are low and service is excellent.
For a more smarter experience, head to the nightclubby, chandelier-lit Upper Street branch.