Sunday, 5 April 2009
Antepliler: Turkish Food Galore in Green Lanes
On a cold Saturday evening last week, we met up with our friends Julia, Pezza and Liz for a Turkish feast at Antepliler. Green Lanes up in North London is a 5 block microcosm of Turkish food. Up and down both sides of the road are Turkish grocers, Turkish pastry shops selling the most delicate baklava you can find, and of course some of the best Turkish kebab places to be found.
One of the gems is Antepliler. When you enter you immediately face the large wood burning oven, where all the magic takes place. It's decked out with traditional Nazar Boncugu (evil eye) pendants.
The dining room has rows of tables all pushed together for optimum seating capacity. On this particular Saturday night, as with most nights Antepliler was bustling. We were elbow to elbow and by 7:30 a queue had already started forming at the door.
The menu had sections for soups, cold starters, hot starters, Pide (Turkish pizza), and grilled kebab dishes.
We opted for some houmous, grilled sukuc (Turkish sausage), and grilled eggplant salad to start. A big basket of bread straight from the big oven came as well and we tucked in. The eggplant salad with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and onion had a nice smoky depth from the grilled eggplant.
Our mains started arriving soon after. We shared a Pide which was oozing with melted cheese and spinach; kebabs covered with melted cheese and chopped pistachios; 'regular' shish kebab with tender chunks of lamb that had a spicy marinade; and another kebab of lamb and grilled shallots bathed in a sweet tangy sauce of pomegranate molasses. The mains were accompanied by rice, grilled tomato, more chopped salad, and more bread.
The dinner came out to about £12 a head including 2 bottles of wine, and there was more than enough food that we went home with two doggie bags of leftovers.
Will we go back? Most definitely -- for the food and for the vibe.