Mangal – The Best Turkish Restaurant In London

Post image for Mangal – The Best Turkish Restaurant In London

by timchester

Few places are as revered as Mangal. Red and green-starred by Time Out, lauded by blogs and tripping off the tongue of every self-satisfied in-the-know from Bethnal Green to Turnham Green, the ocakbasi (or charcoal grill restaurant) is the undisputed champion of the Turkish supper.

So what is this mecca of diced meat really life?  Nestled down a side street between (on our visit at least) a stabbing and some other undisclosed gang dispute, it can safely call itself tucked away.

Inside and the impressive fire pit belched smoke and sizzled with spittle, charring spice-filled chicken and slowly shrinking peppers to perfection for a shared Tavukbeyti. While our kofte lamb had curled into perfect crunchy swirls over the embers, pairing it with a murky pool of tangy yoghurt and butter (Yoghurtlu Adana) was a bit like matching Vinnie Jones with Lady Sovereign – a bit weird to our unaccustomed palates.

We started with mixed meze, great pools of hummus, tsatziki, diced tomato and aubergine – which came with a huge backet of warm leavened bread for dipping and dunking – and the Lahmacun (Turkish pizza with minced meat) which is great if you eat it fast while its hot.

Bring your own booze (no corkage) or go for mint tea (a bag dunked in a WI teacup and slopped on the table), skip dessert (they bring a handful of baclava cubes which is plenty for an already bulging belly), and don’t try ordering a coffee before the meal – these guys are purists and they’ll laugh you out of the restaurant (as they did me).

Ate with: Dave from the foreign office

Price per head including tip: £15

Great pictures of Mangal (from / Their websiteMenu

(Update 27.01.10: Mangal has a challenger, Dalston’s Ozlem, as recommended by Will Eat For Money)

Mangal at Urbanspoon
Mangal Ocakbasi on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ibzo January 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Hey, nice blog! I must disagree with you though, that Mangal is the best Turkish restaurant in London. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I think their time has passed.

I much prefer Ozlem, an underrated gem not far away. In fact, I’d put Ozlem as first, 19 Numara Bos Cirrik second and Mangal perhaps third, or equal third with Somine. My Turkish mother and grandmother agree! I’m wary of linking my blog in case it seems as if I’m advertising, but I wrote a post on Ozlem, check it out if you want.

Keep on blogging.


timchester January 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Hey, thanks for the comment. Will check those out next time I’m in the area.


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iqbal May 1, 2011 at 1:46 am

i say adiva restaurant is an excellent turkish restaurant in london.

adiva restaurant


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