Turkish restaurant in Leicester Square
You can’t deny that Central London has a certain buzz to it! We visited Ali Ocakbasi, a fantastic Turkish Restaurant in Leicester Square and dined alfresco on a warm evening. The staff were super friendly from the outset and there was a lively and relaxed atmosphere.
There is a whole host of amazing dishes on the menu focusing on traditional Turkish feasts. You can choose main dishes from the grill or oven or, like us, choose several starter dishes as mezzes.
There are 14 cold starters and 5 hot starters so plenty of variety and choice. We paired our mezzes with a glass of Turkish red wine each (Buzbag, Anatolia, Turkey £7.75 glass/£39 bottle). It was a warming wine, yet light and crisp with deep fruity notes.
We had the following Cold Mezzes all priced at £6.40:
- Beyaz Peynir – Traditional Anotilan white cheese
- Acili Yogurt – Homemade yoghurt served with chili red pepper slices on top
- Kopoglu – Small cubes of fried eggplant, potatoes and green capsicum (pepper) served with special tomato puree and yoghurt on top
- Muhammara – Traditional spicy paste prepared with crushed walnuts, twice-baked bread, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice
- Kisir – Special bulghur salad mix with Anatolian spices and vegetables
We opted for the following Hot Mezzes:
- Semsek – Traditional pidette with cheese (£3.80)
- Sigara Boregi – Deep fried pastry rolls, filled with cheese and parsley (£6.40)
- Sicak Hummus – Warm homemade hummus served plain or with your topping of pastrami, Anatolian sausage or both (£8.40-£10.90)
As you can see we had 8 mezzes between the two of us and this was absolutely plenty. Each dish was pretty much perfect – amazing colours, great levels of spiciness.We were impressed by the quality and flavour of every dish and all had something different to offer the palate.
The white cheese had a great density to it – not too soft but not a hard cheese. The yoghurt was incredible – so creamy and delicious with an awesome kick from the fiery red pepper slices and the oil. This made a perfect dipping sauce in addition to the hummus. The pidette was so cheesy – a definite for all cheese lovers!
The winners for us were the Kopoglu, muhammara and the sigara boregi. We absolutely loved the different textures and flavours from the kopoglu and the yoghurt on top was the perfect addition. The spicy paste (muhummara) was to die for and the crushed walnuts gave it that edge and had the wow factor.
Finally, the deep fried pastry rolls (sigara boregi) were absolutely amazing.
This is just such a stunning Turkish restaurant in Leicester Square. In such a busy part of London you really do get the best of both worlds here – the tranquility of exquisite dining whilst watching the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist hub.
There was amazing hospitality, something we saw them deliver to every customer which makes all the difference. A thoroughly recommended restaurant.
East London Girl: Ali Ocakbasi
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