What can you tell us about Kyseri?
It's the latest restaurant from Laura Christie and Selin Kiazim - the people behind the much-loved Oklava in Shoreditch. Kyseri is another take in Turkish cuisine with an extra focus on cured meats and Turkish pasta this time around.
Where is it?
It's at the top end of Whitfield Street in Fitzrovia, just around the corner from Warren Street station.
Where should we go for a drink first?
We'd recommend heading to one of our favourite places in the area, Seventeen O Seven on Warren Street. Although primarily an Italian restaurant, it's also a great spot for an early evening glass of wine.
How's Kyseri itself laid out?
As well as the more traditional table layout, there are some seats outside, which were very popular in the summer heat at the time of writing, and there are a few spaces available for counter dining too. It's another corner site (as Oklava is), so there's plenty of light flooding in during the day.
So what about the menu, what should we go for?
The menu at Kyseri was one of those rare a-la-carte menus which we just want to hand back and say "yes, please - we'll have all of that". So yes, it was pretty hard to choose.
But perhaps some narrowing down?
OK then. Essentially, the menu is a collection of snacks, sharing plates, and desserts. As ever, we believe that you're going to need some thinking food while you order, so we recommend immediately ordering the "Cypriot Hellim loaf and Black Sea fondue (£6)". That melted cheesy goodness is made of mozzarella, cecil and tulum. Because who doesn't like kicking things off with a fondue dish?
And you'll want to order the titular Kyseri pastirma too (£8). You'll see that hanging in its curing chamber as you come into the restaurant and it's well worth a try - just the pastirma and olive oil make great snacking food.
And what about the main event?
As we've mentioned, it's quite hard to choose outright favourites but there are a few that really stood out:
- Tomatoes, Crispy Lamb Bacon, Semiz Otu & Sherry Vinegar Caramel (£10) - almost a veggie dish, were it not for the crunchy packed-with-flavour lamb bacon.
- Beef & Sour Cherry Manti, Yoghurt Sauce, Tomato-Chilli Butter & Pine Nuts (£16) - one of the two Turkish pasta dishes, generously portioned and packed Turkish dumplings.
- Lamb Cutlets, Pistachio Crumb, Candied Lemon & Kohlrabi (£22) - the priciest dish on the menu but so worth it for the pistachio crumb.
Oh, and if you have room, you'll want to order the "Cyprus Potato & Pastirma Gratin, Confit Garlic Mayo (£6.50)". Reading that back, we shouldn't have to tell you why.
And how's the menu for vegetarians?
You'll find more in the snacks section (the muhammara and bread snack should be on your list) and the courgette hearts dish (pictured above) is worth ordering. There's also a vegetarian pasta option - the "Erişte, Walnuts, Lemon Braised Greens, Sage, Egg Yolk & Tulum Cheese".
If we're working through the menu, should we be thinking about leaving room for dessert?
Of course! There are three desserts and while the kadayif and London honey ice cream sandwich was calling to us - we were instead drawn to a dessert that takes 15 mins to prepare (a little wait after the mains never hurts).
This was the "Pistachio Katmer, Mastic Parfait, Grapefruit and Verjus Syrup (£14 for two people). This brings with it a little theatre as the katmer is cut tableside and then smashed down on the parfait to deliver a couple of katmer sandwiches. Unmissable.
What about the wine?
Laura Christie is behind the wine list again and there's a focus on Turkish and Greek wine on the menu, so there's a good chance of trying something new. It also means that Greek Assyrtiko is on the menu - one of our favourites at the moment (a higher end option here at £10 glass, £40 carafe, £60 bottle). Everything on the menu is available by the glass or carafe which gives an opportunity to tour the list. Prices start at £4.50 glass, £18 carafe, £27 bottle for a Turkish Okuzgozu.
If you're a fan of Turkish cuisine - this is an absolute no-brainer to recommend. If you loved Oklava, then this is for you too. It combines a cosy, colourful setting with Selin Kiazim's excellent menu. An easy recommendation.
Hot Dinners were invited to Kyseri. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
More about Kyseri
Where is it? 64 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DN
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