Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cirrik, 7th September

If you’re familiar with my Food List, or if you take a look now, you’ll realise Cirrik isn’t on it. But what is on it is ‘Turkish place in Stoke Newington'. I think you can guess where I’m going with this...

While I was in the States, Stephen and his friend Nick went in search of some Turkish food in Dalston. They apparently had a specific place in mind but it was no longer there and instead they ended up somewhere else, in Stoke Newington, the name of which Stephen could not remember, but he raved about it. There was so much meat! So many salads! A huge grill at the back! And it was on a corner. I definitely wanted to try this place. And on Friday I decided I was in the mood for some Turkish.

We headed up to Dalston and walked from Dalston Junction up. Stephen was sure this place was on a corner, but we could not see anything that fit his memory of it. I noticed Cirrik as we walked by, because since coming back from the States, I’d heard from a couple of sources that it was a really good place. I clocked it, and thought, if we don’t find the place Stephen knows, maybe we can go there instead. But it wasn’t busy at all, so I wasn’t if it was the same Cirrik I’d heard of. Especially as further up there was another one, albeit closed.

We got practically all the way to Stoke Newington, Church Street without seeing the place we sought. Dejected and disheartened, I suggested we try Mangal Ocakbasi instead, and we did the same journey in reverse. Only this time when we passed Cirrik, there were several people inside, and the grill at the back was aflame. This is it! Stephen announced. Not on a corner at all, which is why it had been tricky to find, but it was the same in every other detail, and I was rather pleased that Stephen’s place turned out to be somewhere I had kind of wanted to try anyway. 

Well, the meal did not disappoint. My only regret was that I couldn’t finish it! We ordered the same meal that Stephen and Nick had had before, with Stephen warning me not to bother with a starter because there would be so much food. We each got a mixed grill for one, which comes with three different salads, plus a basket of bread, which they replenished even before we’d come close to finishing the first. This was utterly delicious. Light, slightly greasy and seemed to be lightly spiced as well. Even when I couldn't fit in all the meat I still managed to squeeze in a few more pieces of bread. 

We could see the chef cooking our meat on the grill behind us and it arrived all stacked on a plate of rice on top of very thin bread, which soaked up all the meat juices. It was all fantastic, but I especially liked the little lamb ribs – a little crunchy and charred on the edges, with amazing flavour. But I also had adana kebabs (minced lamb), chicken sis kebab and cop sis - cubes of marinated lamb. And so much of it, as I said, I couldn’t finish it and just concentrated on my favourites. 

As much as I loved the meat, the salads deserve a mention as well. You are served three different kinds, and if you don’t like onions you’re out of luck. The first is large chunks of grilled onions with parsley and sweet pomegranite juice. The second are thins strips of onion covered with spices, I preferred this savoury salad. And the last is a fresh green, tomato and pickled cabbage salad again with lots of parsley. They were refreshing and exactly what you needed to cut through the heaviness of the meat. All this was only £13.50. 

Also, top marks for seating us on the edge of an empty table. The restaurant is a bit communal, and you may end up sitting next to people you don't know, but whereas with other restaurants like this, I find they try to herd everyone to the same table, no matter how few customers there are, here were were given as much space as possible.

I'll be back.

19 Numara Bos Cirrik on Urbanspoon


  1. The communal seating would have worried me a tad, but relieved by their common sense and the food sounds spectacular!

  2. Two men came in after us and were offered a seat at another empty table, or next to four others. They chose to sit next to the four others, which I thought was really odd. But then I turned around and saw that three of these others were young, pretty girls and the choice didn't seem so strange after that!


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