Babaji 1

53 Shaftesbury Avenue , London, W1D 6LB

020 3327 3888

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SquareMeal Review of Babaji

Inspired by his Turkish wife, Chinese restaurateur Alan Yau puts the spotlight on traditional 'pide' (boat-shaped pizzas) at this mid-priced Middle Eastern eatery. Bright blue walls and a pizza oven dominate the cramped downstairs space, while the first floor affords expansive views of the West End and more legroom. Babaji's food was widely panned when it opened in 2014, but its current offer is vastly improved. The char-grilled courgette, tomato, walnut and goats' cheese pide is crisp and fun, while külbasti (grilled lamb, tomato sauce, yoghurt and flatbread) strikes a balance between tangy cream and succulent meat. Desserts add even more mischief (go for the 'kagit helva' wafer and ice-cream sandwiches), although prices come with a postcode premium – especially if you venture beyond the pide. The wine list is proudly all-Turkish, with back-up from aniseed-flavoured raki.

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