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As smoke fills a side road off busy Stoke Newington High Street, large buckets of charcoal are carried in to feed the roaring monster inside this Turkish ocakbasi restaurant. You're face to face
with the ocak grill as soon as you enter, and tables are packed tightly into the small room, but sit here rather than in the calmer extension next door, because the thrill of the grill is what it's
all about. A chilled cabinet is stocked with kebabs, chops, chicken wings and quails – just order a plate of juicy mixed meats and a pile of spanking-fresh salad, plus some creamy cacik (yoghurt
with cucumber and garlic) and tuck in. You can buy Turkish beer and red wine, but almost everyone brings their own – making dinner here even more of a bargain.
I really was expecting quite good things from this Turkish place in Dalston as it is generally regarded as one of the best Ocakbasi grill places in the area . . . And it pretty much lived up to expectations (ha - you thought I was going to go the other way with that didn't you?)We got there at about 8 and there was a moderate queue, but the place is pretty big and it's not the kind of place to really linger so we were probably only waiting about ten minutes before we were seated. It didn't take us long to decide what we wanted, having watched the meat being skewered and put on the grill while we queued - everything!...
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