Everything Under the Sun…is probably a good way to describe what’s on offer at the Tarshish Turkish restaurant in north London.
You can dine out in the sunshine – thanks to a swish moveable skylight that tops off a swanky black and silver dominated dining area – and the decor is a bit reminiscent of a modern upscale west-end eatery like Quaglinos.
The 200-plus seater restaurant also boasts a menu that offers much more than the typical shish and doner fare, both in terms of the variety and quality available, as well as a newly launched brunch menu.
There’s everything from Chicken Lollipops, served in a chives and mushroom jus, to Wagyu Rib-Eye steak and chips – as well as an extensive choice of fish dishes including sea bass, salmon and glazed king prawns.
The new Brunch menu, currently available on Sundays but set to be extended, is equally all-encompassing offering two types of ‘full Turkish’ – as well as a range of egg dishes and even the chef’s own idiosyncratic take on beans on toast, involving feta, parsley and basil oil.
There’s also a mouthwatering array of cocktails and ‘mocktails’ for the non-alcoholics.
Summing up the thinking behind Tarshish’s ambitious approach, owner Baran Yavuz explains:”There’s no reason why people who enjoy Turkish food shouldn’t also expect the same standards and choice that are available at top West End restaurants and that’s what we aim to deliver at Tarshish.
“From the quality and presentation of the food and drinks, to the atmosphere and decor, we want people to enjoy a first class upmarket dining experience.”
Attempting to test out a representative sample of the goodies on offer, we started with the mixed mezze, supplemented by a few mini plates like chicken wings and passion fruit calamari, which were definitely a cut above the fare served by the average high street Turkish, especially in terms of the of the unusual combination of spices and sauces.
We then tried something from the meat and fish sections of the menu, in the shape of the ‘wild’ sea bass and braised lamb shanks.
These again lived up to the ‘something different’ test. The sea bass was on a bed of crushed potatoes, in a butter-squash purée with oyster and lime sauce; the lamb shank was tender and well cooked on a bed of sweet potatoes.
People on the next table helped with our quest for variety by choosing a veggie option, mini pink eggplant stuffed with vegetable ratatouille, along with grilled salmon on a bed of spinach, sautéed and smoked mushrooms and peppers; which they dubbed ‘delicious’.
All of this was washed down in our case by a dark rum based Anisha Lychee Martini and a Bee-Sting from the Mocktails selection, the latter combining mango,passion fruit and lime juices.
Embracing the restaurant’s philosophy of blending traditional and modern options there’s also the usual range of beer, ciders and soft drinks on offer.
So what’s the verdict on Tarshish’s drive to give guests the best of Turkish cuisine, with all of the benefits, choices and atmosphere of a fine dining restaurant?
It’s a definite thumbs up from these diners and from neighbours sitting on nearby tables judging by their reactions.
# Tarshish is at 16-20 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BX –
Tel 020 8881 6479 – www.tarshish.co.uk