The Borough branch of Tas neatly embodies the traits that make this Anatolian chain so popular. The pillared white interior is simply decorated – a wall mosaic here, a framed painting of Turkish women there – but with its artful spot-lighting and liberal arrangement of potted plants, it offers a Mediterranean ambience that on our last visit was bolstered by an elderly guitarist plucking away in the background.
The menu lists more than 40 starters alongside a huge range of grills, casseroles and fish dishes, but our selections varied from delicious to disappointing. A hot starter of patlıcan-biber kizartma featured generous chunks of aubergine in a fresh-tasting tomato and yoghurt sauce, but was served lukewarm; better was a cold confection of zeytinli ahtapot salatasi (marinated baby octopus in a salad of red onions, olives and coriander). A main of slow-cooked íncik lamb shank was tender enough to fall off the bone, and came in a rich tomato sauce, but a vegetarian kabak stew of courgettes with tomatoes, chickpeas and potatoes was watery and under-seasoned.
As a window into the breadth of Anatolian cuisine, Tas does a commendable job; as a mainstream chain, it might benefit from a less ambitious menu.