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With its smart staff, white napery & curved copper ‘ceiling’ dotted with lights, Ishtar makes a statement of intent: this is no ordinary Turkish restaurant. It rams home the point with rich
flavours, slightly fussy presentation & a menu that runs from borek & kofte to goats’ cheese, walnut & beetroot salad or a surprise rendering of asparagus with Italian garnishes. The
charcoal grill is a significant player, bestowing a smoky flavour on marinated aubergines or skewered chicken (which arrives with a tomato butter sauce). Set lunch & express menus are a big
draw, & the drinks list includes a couple of Turkish wines; there’s also a handy selection of virgin cocktails. The gussying-up of a normally down-to-earth style can feel awkward, although
things would improve if staff dropped their snooty attitude.
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