Thursday, 29 October 2009

Mangal Ocakbasi aka Mangal 1

This intimate Turkish spot tucked away on Dalston's Arcola Street (home of the legendary Arcola Theater) can be utilised as a takeaway vendor or eat in venue, and I'm sure that either would be equally enjoyed by those partaking.

On this evening we were eating inside, although a slight breeze from the open door could have suggested otherwise after a few minutes it was more than counter acted by the roaring open charcoal grill. This grill is manned in a serious manner by various members of staff and is the area from where the succulent lamb and chicken emerges.

The beer on offer is limited to Turkish brand Effes, but this beer is fine and sometimes I think that too much choice can be a bad thing (especially when it come to intoxicants).

The menu comprises of traditional Turkish dishes, this means plenty of meat, but if you are vegetarian you would not be left out in the cold. We started with a basket of  thick slices of warm, soft bread accompanied by some extremely well made Tzatziki and and a dish of chopped fried aubergine in garlic and herbs which I recommend highly. Our waiter also brought over some hummus in place of the lahmajun that we ordered (people call this Turkish pizza to contextualise it in a western kebab shop setting, but it is not really a pizza) I think they did us a favor here though as we really didn't need a portion of  doughy lahmajun on top of what was to Follow.

The main course, on one side very tender well marinated lamb, cooked over the charcoal to perfection and plated up with a huge salad, chunk of lemon and grilled tomato and chili. On the other, lamb of similar delicacy but sliced and presented in a pot with strained yoghurt's a spicy tomatoe salsa and the same grilled vegetables, again a huge fresh salad but this time on a separate plate. Both very delicious, the only fault being the bread cubes placed in the yoghurt, but overall an extremely professional and satisfying display of Turkish cuisine.

The service is fine, maybe a little hurried, but not rude. And the price, very reasonable (even though I forgot my card for the third time since buying an new over-sized wallet and so could not pay) a meal for two with beer will set you back about £25

All over I would give this place 4 out of 5 or 8 out of 10 depending on which system you would prefer to use. But well worth a visit and especially after a trip to the fine theater across the street...

10 Arcola Street, Dalston, E8 2DJ
Tel: 020 7275 8981
Travel: Dalston Kingsland rail/67, 76, 149, 243 bus
Times: Meals served noon-midnight daily

By Lomaxo 

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