In an area woefully short of interesting dining options, Zara does what it needs to do to remain one of the better local choices for an evening out. The setting is certainly pleasant – with large french windows to let in the light, and shelves holding books and musical instruments – but the food on our visit was a mixed bag. Successes included böregi, the cigar-shaped pastry snacks filled with green lentils and onions, and the inegol köfte, a spice-spiked dish of minced lamb meatballs from north-western Turkey: we’ve rarely had meat so packed with flavour. But there were also failures. A tiny portion of tabouleh lacked lemon juice and oil making it too dry, and the chicken güveç needed more cinnamon, cumin, molasses or anything to give it more flavour, and perhaps some rice to soak it up. There’s a strong wine list and a larger than usual vegetarian menu, but service on our visit was a bit cheerless. Zara does the job if you’re in the area, though it doesn’t compare to London’s better Turkish restaurants.
11 South End Road
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-11.30pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Belsize Park tube or Hampstead Heath rail|
|Price:||Main courses £9-£15|
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
Excellent service and very friendly relaxed atmosphere as well as fantastic, authentic food. Very fresh and lots of flavour. It's a favourite!
Delicious home-made turkish food, excellent and imaginative vegetarian stuff, friendly service, nice atmosphere, cheap wine, unpretentious. Perfect.
High expectations and very low quality. Very low quality Humus. This was probably the worst dish I had much better from a box.