Beyti kofte at Mangal Ocakbasi

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If there’s one good reason to head to deepest, darkest East London it has to be for the Turkish food. With hundreds of local grills, it’s a big claim for Time Out to have picked out a particular kebab as one of the hundred best dishes in London, but since it had, we were duty-bound to head to Mangal Ocakbasi to try it.

“Cooked perfectly, it was juicy and soft”

Rather foolishly we shared a mezze to start (well, you have to try out a place’s hummus, don’t you? This joint’s: the grainy, bland sort), fully aware that our mains would be enormous. Sure enough, two kofte kebabs rested on piles of salad, pickles, chillies and flatbread.

It was clearly good meat, with a freshness of flavour enhanced by crisp herby hints in the mix. Cooked perfectly, it was juicy and soft. But that’s about where the compliments end, because, to be honest, it was nothing special. Sure, it was a decent kebab, and goodness knows you can get terrible kebabs which are downright unpleasant eating. Would I cross London, or recommend this to a friend as the place to go for authentic grill? Nope.

70/100 best dish from Time Out London’s list

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