There’s no shortage of Turkish grill restaurants in Hackney – every second doorway on Kingsland Road seems to lead to a smoky, fiery mangal barbecue in the middle of the room. And many of them follow a tested formula – traditional Turkish charcoal grill menus with basic decor, and efficient-if-slightly-gruff service.
Dom’s is different – ‘traditional Turkish food made with a modern twist’, it claims. That twist means bare brick walls, communal raw-wood tables, fashionable young staff, a hanging mobile of nazar eye pendants, and a short menu that isn’t unrecognisably modern, but offers a few different options compared with the borough’s standard Turkish fare.
Choose from chicken, hummus or kofte, as well as lesser-seen hamsi (whitebait); pick a salad (rocket and red cabbage, red onion with sumac and pomegranate); then specify thick or thin bread to have the whole lot wrapped in.
Not a wild departure from a high-street ocakbasi then, and indeed the fact that everything comes in a wrap might mean the food’s more limited than in standard Turkish places; but everything’s clearly good quality and little touches such as beer from Bermondsey’s Kernel brewery, wines from Borough Wines, and sides of sweet potato fries make Dom’s just different enough to feel worthwhile. If the traditional Turkish grill even needs updating, here’s how to do it.