Antepliler, Green Lanes Harringay
Before we go into the review, need to just clarify that there are two different branches! One is in Islington and the other is in Green Lanes and the branch we visited was the Green Lanes venue. Green Lanes (Harringay) is basically Little Istanbul, all the local Turkmen frequent the restaurants/grocers etc and if you are looking for authenticity, you are most likely to find it here.
We decided to have our first SaltandSheikh team meet up here owing to the great publicity this place has received from various sources such as Timeout magazine etc. This review is special in the sense that all of us have contributed input to this post, so it’s as balanced and void of any bias to the highest possible degree!
Down to the real talk… What did we have? (NB. The menu online doesn’t seem to correlate with the Green Lanes branch but perhaps does with the venue in Islington).
Mixed Grill: The red meat was good and was well cooked but unfortunately the chicken was a bit dry and tasteless, seemed like it lacked a marinade and some flavour.
Pide/Lahmacun (basically Turkish pizza): well cooked but pretty standard, you’d have to put effort to make this dish go wrong, but nevertheless it was good. The dough was soft but not soggy and the generous toppings made it worthwhile. The pied we ordered was the vegetarian option, with cheese and parsley topping. Lahmacun, speaks for itself really (thin flat bread meat pizza!).
Adana kofte kebab with yoghurt: this is the closest to the Iskender dish (if you are Turkish food fan, then you must know Iskender is one of the most famous Turkish dishes and not everywhere prepares it!) This dish is a layer of bread, yoghurt, tomato sauce and kofte. In comparison to the other dishes, this was well cooked and wasn’t floating in oil or fat which can be the case when it comes to kofte (minced meat kebab).
Ali Nazik: Similar to the above dish as it has the same combination of meat and yoghurt but this had an addition of aubergines and the meat was diced and not kofte. This dish was well received too.
Alti Ezmeli shish: Chargrilled diced lamb, served with a braised tomato sauce
Adana kebab: Skewered long kofte with hot dried peppers and oriental spices chargrilled and served with parsely piyaz and bald rice. This dish was again pretty standard, was good but nothing particularly stood out.
As a rule we believe that all Turkish restaurants should be complimented on their fresh bread and unfortunately the complimentary bread was slightly disappointing.
Following our meal, we decided to explore the famous fresh kunefe which was a sub division of the actual restaurant which is quite nice as a ‘post-meal chill out’ with traditional decor. Dessert options however are limited to baklava (packers of filo pastry with crushed nuts) and kunefe (vermicelli layered onto savoury cheese, drenched, I mean drenched, with sugar syrup flavoured with rose water and the optional dollop of cream… basically, diabetes in a mouthful). The kunefe isn’t everyone’s cup of team but if you are going to do it like the Turks, you might aswell try it. We shared three small dishes between the seven of us and we didn’t even finish them off so maybe share before you decide to eat a whole one first! The nice thing about this place is that the kunefe is freshly made, a rarity! Of course, you need to have some chai, goes without saying.
In general though, this place is a large, clean and well established Turkish restaurant buzzing with many locals but to us we felt it was pretty average food and there wasn’t anything particularly outstanding- apart from the good company!
Food – max 3/5
Service – 3/5 The staff were very nice but you need to work to get their attention and few speak English which can be quite difficult!
Value – 3.5/5 Between seven of us, including a few starters and some drinks it worked out to be around 20 pounds per person. For the amount of food, that’s not too bad but you’d think that being so far from central London, it’d be a bit less costly
Venue – 3.5/5 The place is large and clean which are two very important factors. A suitable place for large families or big parties. Be prepared to travel! If you have a car and you go at time that compliments the parking restrictions, fine. If you are a chronic victim of TFL, it’s a bit of a walk from the station (mind you, you might want to burn off the calories before and after the kunefe)
SAS – 3/5 All in all, this wasn’t a complete shambles but it was slightly disappointing particularly because you are in largely Turkish territory and I think we expected a bit more authenticity regarding the restaurant food. Although the kunefe place on the side does give it that extra something.
No alcohol/non halal meat is served here (Harringay branch but the Angel branch does sell alcohol)
Overall – 16/25
Review written by Salt + whole SAS team input 🙂