We don't hang out in Baker Street as much as Sherlock Holmes but if you are meeting someone there (with a little money to spare), Yosma is your bag. Chef Hus Vedet has taken inspiration from his Turkish heritage and designed a menu mezze (hot and cold), grill-tastic mangal and clay oven goods. First the task of choosing mezze. It's a tricky one... Do you go for reliable hummus, exciting strained yoghurt, or a mighty fine halloumi that doesn't even squeak. Next some tasty borek - flaky filo pastry filled with spinach, feta, pine nuts and mint. Then you're wanting the lamb rump that has been grilled to that perfect point of crispy edges and pink middle. Finish off with the sticky goodness of Kunefe - layers of noodles, white cheese and syrup, topped with pistachio nuts - sure it sounds weird but it's mighty tasty. If you've ever been to Turkey you'll know all about raki, the unsweetened anise flavoured aperitif. If you're feeling brave drink it neat alongside meat, but we had ours stirred into cocktails. Try the Charlie which mixes it with gin, lillet, cointreau and lemon.
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Here's a classic underdog story: this much-loved local spot evolved from a little kebab shop opened by two brothers who came here from Turkey in the 80s. But this isn't your typical late-night greaser - it's all white tablecloths and proper cutlery here. The restaurant's insane popularity on weekends really isn't a mystery: the food is out of this world. The menu features a classic rotation of mezes, pides, and of course, kebabs. Get in before the locals do.
For a Turkish restaurant in one of the main Turkish neighbourhoods in London to be constantly rammed is a good indication of it being pretty special. Gokyuzu is known for delivering top quality dishes, but also for serving MASSIVE portions at seriously decent prices. Can't argue with that. The large mixed meze is ideal for a hungry group, and they also do a range of Turkish pizzas which make a nice change from the Italian norm.
What’s the best thing you can do with £8? If you’ve answered, ‘go to FM Mangal on Camberwell Church Street and get the lamb shish box meal’, then you’ve got it right. FM Mangal is, for our money, the best kebabby to be found in South: a typical no-frills Turkish joint where the sweet elixir of smoking coals charring meat to perfection wafts out the door and brings in any local with an interest in good food. The tender meat here comes with dope company: fragrant rice, fresh salad, charred flat breads, pomegranate molasses and complimentary charcoal-grilled onions in a sweet and sour vinegary sauce. Served up by a lovely staff, you’re not getting tablecloths or airs and graces; you're getting an ideal bite when you can't be arsed to cook or a venue for a lively group dine out.
The people of Turkey know how to grill: fact. There are no two ways about it and we're all for embracing the BBQ house vibe in this cosy but charming local spot. Limited space means a number of hungry locals are happy to settle for a takeaway, particularly on weekends. You can expect all the stellar Turkish classics here, from adana kebabs to delightful aubergine salads - the flatbread is gorgeous, the veg is fresh and locally sourced, the meat is succulent and the service is quick - hard to go wrong really. There's even a cheeky bench out front for street-side eating.