The interior of this branch of Tas has a satisfying solidity. Gothic-looking chandeliers hang down between great wooden ceiling beams. Stout wooden chairs have a medieval look; cool rustic tiles line the floor. It’s as if to reassure diners: the restaurant may be part of a chain, but it has deep culinary roots.
Initial fears about the menu’s unwieldy length were dispelled by the starters. A dish of artichokes (enginar) and broad beans was remarkably generous in size. The hearts seemed fresh rather than preserved, and were well matched to their light tomato and dill dressing. Another starter, mücver, had an improbable, pleasing lightness despite the frying and the feta within.
Standards dipped a little with the mains. Karı€ık ızgara, a kebab sampler, should have arrived singing from the grill bars, yet the cooking didn’t seem fresh. A dollop of spicy sauce was needed to enliven the experience. Vegetarian fasulye kavurması looked exhausted, with the green beans drained of much colour, yet the flavours came through with some vibrancy.
A guitarist who played traditional music throughout the evening did himself proud; the maestro behind the charcoal grill needs to up his game.