If you know Green Lanes, you probably know Antepliler. It’s a local Turkish restaurant that’s been around for years – so popular it’s expanded and taken over the three shops next door. There’s the main restaurant (which this review relates to); then there’s a more casual doner kebab shop; a bakery that specialises in baklava; and the small café that’s entirely dedicated to kunefe, a seriously delicious shredded pastry dessert made with soft cheese, cream and loads of sugar syrup. The restaurant is the original – it’s packed every night for a reason: the food is reliably delicious and servings are huge, filling and cheap.
The yogurtlu tavuk kebab (yoghurt chicken) was a delicious plate of tender meat and soft chunks of bread, covered in spicy tomato sauce, with two huge dollops of cold yoghurt on the side. Then came a lamb kebab marinated in spices, a few small icli kofte (like minced lamb croquettes with crispy bulgur wheat crust), and a doughy pide filled with spinach and feta. Then god, the kunefe. There’s a reason this restaurant has a café dedicated to the stuff. It’s crispy on the outside but so soft and sweet on the inside, and our serving of it came topped with light cream. The baklava was equally good, but you can find stuff of its quality in any Turkish bakery on Green Lanes. Basically, get the kunefe.
Baskets of freshly baked Turkish bread come free and unlimited with your meal, as do plates of salad, hummus and perfect bulgur wheat. Factor this into your ordering: it’s a load of food for free and you’ll end up carrying multiple doggy bags home if you’re not careful, not that that’s a bad thing. The atmosphere is buzzy, but this is very much a local restaurant, so don’t expect anything fancy. In short, if you want a terrific cheap meal, this place isn’t going to let you down. It’s been here a couple of decades and there’s no sign of it slowing. Long live Antepliler.