The restaurant is named after the Turkish word for a traditional rolling pin (oklava) used for making breads, pastries and pides. This Turkish-Cypriot restaurant houses an open kitchen design, where you can see and smell all being made and prepared. The food is cooked in a stone oven, using a real charcoal grill (Mangal), giving the food that extra bit of flavour. The food is accompanied with a fantastic wine list, housing some of the best wines from Turkey, one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world.
Start your evening off with a selection of ‘Snacks’, ranging from the usually marinated olives to courgette fritters and grilled Cypriot pastirma sausage. Definitely try their Whipped Feta, Candied Pumpkin & Chilli Crostinis. All very light and tasty and a great way to kick off your meal.
Vegetables & Salads
Being a relatively health-conscious person, I naturally steer away from the Cyprus Potato Chips and Baked Lamb Fat Potatoes and opt for healthier options. The Charred Greens, Pine Nut Tarator & Bergamot Butter was a healthier and delicious dish. This went well with the Chilli Roast Cauliflower, sitting under a hearty pile of red onions and a surprisingly large quantity of parsley and pistachios. The amount was justified as you make you way down onto the large cauliflower and the flavours worked nicely all together.
Pides, Meat and Seafood
The rest of the menu is divided into Pides and Meat & Seafood. The Crispy Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Breast was juicy, with a rich sauce that balanced very well with the yoghurt, definitely well worth a try.
Pides have recently become quite a trend and some have predicted that the Turkish flatbread will become an even more popular dish in 2017, especially with breakfast. Imagine a crispy flatbread pizza filled with prawn, kayseri pastirma, egg yolk, with chilli and garlic mayo. It is a mouthwatering combination, full of flavour bite after bite. I honestly would go back just to have this and was tempted to order another one. The pide comes in a sizeable portion and is accompanied with salad and pickled red cabbage, a properly refreshing combination. Just go and try this.
We just had enough time to try their Vanilla Poached Pear. Simple by sight, the dish included a yoghurt parfait-filo sandwich and a chestnut puree, which was a bit like an ice cream. A delightful way to end a great meal.
The restaurant also offers a Sunday set brunch menu (think bread, cheese, tomatoes, sausages, eggs and fruits) and also a Sunday set feast menu (selection of mezes and a kebab).
Address: 74 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4PY
Opening Times: M-F: 12-3, 5:30-10, Sat: 5:30 – 10, Sun: 12-4
Also published on Medium.