Hidden away on an uninteresting street at the wrong end of Fitzrovia, Istanbul Meze doesn’t look promising. Surprise: it’s a likeable spot, with a reliable if unspectacular kitchen and keen, helpful staff. The starters are worthwhile. Falafel is agreeably tender and subtle, thanks to the use of a preponderance of broad beans. The houmous, also seemingly made on site, is created to a similarly winning recipe; sturdier options include sucuk (spicy beef sausage) that carries a pleasing tang. The main courses are less characterful but pretty well-executed. Cooked over a charcoal grill at the back of the room, the familiar meaty grills – try the Istanbul special, a jumble of chicken sis and lamb köfte over an aubergine paste, served with yoghurt and rice to one side – are supplemented by a few more unexpected seafood dishes (a kebab made with swordfish and king prawns, for instance). It’s all delivered promptly by efficient waiters in a simple but attractive room brightened by a string of coloured lamps (unusually, there’s also a bar in the basement). Worth considering.
|Venue name:||Istanbul Meze||Contact:|
100 Cleveland Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat. Dinner served 5-11pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Great Portland Street or Warren Street tube|
|Price:||Main courses £7-£12. Set lunch £8.90 2 courses incl coffee. Set dinner £11.90 2 courses. Set meze £20.|