Test Driving Yosma - Marylebone's new Turkish tavern

yosma extYosma on Baker Street

So what do we need to know about Yosma?

It's a Turkish tavern uprooted to Marylebone. So there's a large bar area, plenty of space for groups to gather and a mangal oven counter which is going to be a very popular snug spot come the winter. The executive chef is Hus Vedat whose CV includes Barbecoa and the Caxton Grill and Ceviche Old Street.

Where is it?

On Baker Street between Dorset and Blandford Street.

yosma cocktailsCocktails by Matt Whiley

Where should I meet friends for a drink first?

The nearest spot is the Chiltern Firehouse (if you can get in) or cocktails round the corner at Purl. But, to be frank, when you know the drinks list has been put together by Matt Whiley - why would you bother going anywhere else?

There's a massive bar here, so plenty of room. There's just one thing - the drinks list here is printed in the teeniest type which, combined with the subtle (shadowy) lighting, means we picked without having a clue what was in them. A later perusal of the list online revealed we'd had a Pervane (Mulberry & Viola Gin, Sour Cherry, Preserved Lemon) and a Yosma (Turkish Apple Tea Vodka, Pomegranate Vermouth, Raki Spices) both £9 which were both interesting - in a really good way - and strong.

And where should I sit?

If you enjoy people watching, grab a table by the window, but we most liked the look of the larger group tables closer to the open kitchen or just up at the counter by the mangal grill.

yosma hummusThe hummus

So what kind of food should we expect?

The menu divides into cold meze, hot starters, mangal, clay oven and sides. And because all of it is sharing plate size, you'll probably want to roam around, picking dishes from each section.

Just be aware that, despite what they say about the dishes coming in some kind of cold/hot order, a lot will come at once if you order it all at once. Don't be afraid to ask the kitchen to pause so you enjoy everything.

yosma lambAli Nazik - lamb rump oak fired aubergine, yoghurt and burnt tomato

From what we had, standouts were:

  • The hummus - let's face it, you need to order this just to gauge what manner of place it is. Thankfully the answer is bloody great. (£4)
  • The borek - from the clay oven, these were a perfect example of the dish (£8)
  • Ali Nazik from the mangal - thick cut pink slices of lamb rump served up with oak fired aubergine, yoghurt and burnt tomato - if we went back tomorrow, we'd have this again (£15)
  • The kűnefe - a diet-busting mixture of pastry and baked white cheese with lemon syrup and topped with Kadayif, pistachios. This is really the kind of thing you might think of not ordering after a big meal, but that would be a cardinal sin. SO good. (£6)

yosma kunefeThe kűnefe

And to drink?

The wine list is, as it should be, heavy on the Turkish front. We had a bottle of Kayra Buzbag at £25 and the list ranges from £19 up to £66 for a bottle of Caballo Loco from Chile. There's also a wide range of raki too to choose from.

Overall thoughts:

Yosma is pitch perfect for this part of town and it's going to be a seriously handy spot for anyone wanting somewhere decent to eat and drink if they're shopping nearby. Our waiter was brilliant, bluntly telling us when we were making mistakes in choosing (he was right, on every count) and the whole place has a great vibe. Despite its size, it was pretty much packed on a Thursday evening, so we predict it'll do well.

Yosma is at 50 Baker Street, London W1U 7BT. Find out more about Yosma

Hot Dinners were invited to Yosma, prices were correct at the time of writing.