Where do the people in the know recommend you go to eat Turkish food in London: they recommend. Yeni Umut 2000 Ockbasi Restaurant. When i say they, i mean my friend told me, so the two of us met and feasted.
From the outside it does look like a takeaway place, but one thing that struck me as odd and also very cool, was that there was no doner meat hanging in the shop window. Therefore I immediately felt that this was a promising sign. Once inside there was a vibe of a BBQ going on with the charcoal and kebabs cooking away and the smoke floating away up the vent. The best way to do kebabs is with charcoal, end of the argument there.
We ordered the very reasonably priced mixed grill for two which included the plate above and the one below. Great value and great quality. The starters were very tasty with the usual favourites of humus, taramasalata, vine leaves and Turkish classics of Cacik (yoghurt with garlic, mint and cucumber), Pilaki (pinto beans) and patlican soslu (aubergine and green peppers in a tomato sauce). With nice freshly baked bread, this was a great way to start.
For main course, we got what every warm blooded male would. A mixed grill. Chicken shish, lamb shish, chicken wings, lamb kofte, liver and chicken kofte all on a bed of flavoured rice. What a meal we had. The meat was cooked perfectly on top of the charcoal, the charred bits, the smokiness and the crisp bites of tender meat all went down so easily. Succulent, juicy and so delicious, the food tasted really fresh and not oily or fatty at all. We were close to finishing the food and I didn't feel bloated or completely stuffed, instead I was in a comfortable happy place.
... Ten minutes later after we had finished it all, I was absolutely stuffed. All this for under £20 each and with drinks. The only downer here was that we couldn't pay by card. We had to walk five minutes down the road to get cash. If they accepted card it would have been even better.
Great food, good catch up and good value.
Lesson here, never judge a book by its cover and Dalston has a lot of Turkish restaurants.