With its high arched windows and Ottoman artwork, it’s easy to spot this Middle Eastern restaurant deep in the East End. Ethnic prints, intimate ‘private cabins’ and shisha pipes set the tone in the main eating area, where an open kitchen is the focus of attention. The name Zengi refers to an ancient Turkish dynasty, and the menu is a mixed bag of eclectic dishes taking in mezze (falafel, kibbeh, moutabal, etc), mixed platters, tagines, stews, char-grilled meats such as shish alinazik (lamb with smoked aubergine and spiced yoghurt) and even a flame-grilled Zengi burger. Wraps and pide (Turkish ‘pizzas’) are handy for a quick fix, and you can wash it all down with Lebanese wine, a shot of anise-toned arak or ayran (a yoghurt drink). Downstairs is a more intimate lounge filled with cushioned couches and hanging lanterns.
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