If you’re arranging to meet friends at Diyarbakir on Green Lanes’ Grand Parade you’ll need to be very specific about the location, given that there are two, both claiming to be the original, about 100 yards away from each other. The real deal is this one, at number 69, whose old-school character and decor make it a more staid affair than its blingier namesake. It claims to have been here for more than 20 years, and the functional furnishings certainly feel like they’ve been here for at least that long, but then functional is par for the course with standard kebab joints.
Luckily, Diyarbakir does much more than kebabs. Our mixed platter of mezzes was delicious, fresh and plentiful. Once we’d made inroads into it, along with a couple of beautifully balanced salads and slices of soft warm bread still smoky from the barbecue, we were questioning the wisdom of having ordered two main courses. The grilled chicken wings served with a fresh tomato chilli sauce were perfectly cooked and, even better, perfectly seasoned. And a daily stew special of lamb and melt-in-the-mouth white beans in a tomato sauce, served with a pile of white rice and bulgar to sop up the juice, was a bargain at £8.50. Of course we weren’t able to finish it all, but we had a fine lunch of leftovers the next day, and all for less than £40.