This new concept from Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie sees the duo behind Oklava relaunch their Kyseri site in Fitzrovia as a West End outpost of their original Shoreditch restaurant. As at Oklava, the all-day restaurant reinterprets Turkish food by combining the traditional family recipes of Kiazim’s grandmother with quality ingredients. Christie, meanwhile, has put together a wine list sourced from producers along the Black Sea, Turkey and its neighbouring countries.
The interior is cosy and informal, with an open kitchen and in-house bakery serving up freshly baked goods. As well as the bread that fills the restaurant with the alluring smell of fresh baking, the chefs send out daily offerings of fresh manti (Oklava’s signature dumpling) and pizza-like pide specials, including one topped with Black Sea cheese and butter.
The restaurant serves food from breakfast through to dinner, including a selection of sweet and savoury baked delicacies. The morning breakfast features the likes of medjool date butter toasties, menemen, and home-cured pastirma. There is also a Saturday brunch for punters looking for an Anatolian-inspired brekkie to start the weekend with.
The main menu promises traditional Turkish flavours delivered with a modern twist. Kiazim delves into her Turkish heritage to take diners on a palate-opening flavour journey with dishes such as the spiced beef and lamb baked kofte, served with yoghurt and brown butter on house bread. The hearty dishes are beautifully paired with aromatic orange wines from Georgia and crisp Turkish Pinot Gris, among many more discovered by co-owner Christie on her travels.
Kiazim and Christie are both seasoned restaurateurs who are carving out a highly distinctive niche on the London food scene. Oklava has impressed critics since opening near Old Street in 2015, proving just as popular with Shoreditch hipsters as City slickers. This new West End outpost should bring Kiazim’s cooking to the wider audience that it deserves.