If stylish interiors and fancy food are what you are after, then you may as well turn round and leave. But if you are seeking out the best damned Turkish grills in London, then Mangal 1 is definitely your best bet. Essentially, it is a little hole-in-the-wall in the backstreets of Hackney, which is a tad ‘off the beaten track’. The restaurant is modest decorated and the sometimes overpowering fumes of searingly hot open charcoal grill which is positioned smack-bang in the main part of the dining room. This may cause you to smell a bit ‘BBQ-ey’ when you leave, but if you are a true carnivore, then this shouldn't pose as a deterrent to you as there is simply no other place better than this for you to gorge yourself on tender chunks of chargrilled meat and poultry just bursting with juice and smoky flavour imparted through the authentic grill cooking.
The mixed grill, for a voracious carnivore like myself, is effectively the only way to go when choosing what to eat. I like the variety, the quantity and the different flavours and textures in this dish. I usually order some bread on the side as well as a few of the traditional side dishes such as Cacik yoghurt and a lovely smoky aubergine salad dish. Behold the beast-like behameth platter of meat containing chicken wings, chicken chunks, minced lamb kebabs, lamb chops and lamb chunks all piping hot off the grill, seared to perfection and mouthwateringly good.
It really is great value as it is incredibly cheap and the quality of the grills and food are excellent. Don't go here expecting bend-over-backward friendly customer service, whilst they are never rude, they just aren't very chatty either. Cannot wait to go back!