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Test Driving Oklava - Selin Kiazim's modern Turkish food in Shoreditch

Test Driving Oklava - Selin Kiazim's modern Turkish food in Shoreditch

What's it all about?

Oklava is the first solo venture from Selin Kiazim - former head chef at Kopapa, who won an enthusiastic following after her popups at Carousel, Ember Yard and Trip Kitchen. The menu is 'modern Turkish', born from her Cypriot heritage - and the room is cleverly designed around a large open kitchen where you can see the chefs in action at the charcoal grill.

Where should we go for a drink first?

The bars around Old Street can get a bit crowded - so we'd recommend popping into the nearby Ace Hotel Shoreditch for a civilized drink - or the Hoxton Hotel is just round the corner too.

What should we eat?

While you're browsing the menu - you can get going with the house-baked bread and Selin's addictive medjool date butter, which is happily now for sale in Selfridges.

The menu is divided into snacks, salads and grains, pides, seafood and meat dishes, ideal for sharing with a group.

A trio of veggie starters, including courgette and feta fritters and sour cherry pearl barley with crispy kale and yoghurt all impressed - followed by a spicy lamb lahmacun with a bowl of pickles and salad to wrap inside. Even more popular was a pide stuffed with cheese sauce, charred leeks and crisp potato - and a main course of crispy pomegranate-glazed lamb breast with yoghurt, the perfect mix of sweet, savoury and piquant spice.

Save room for the stunning desserts: we were fighting for the last crumbs of the pistachio cake with caramelised white chocolate ganache and barbecued quince, and an equally stunning chocolate and prune delice with bergamot cream.

What should we drink?

We enjoyed a glass of Barbare from a list of interesting and well priced Turkish wines - from just £4 a glass - and a Turkish coffee with dessert.

Overall thoughts?

Open just a few days, Oklava was packed and buzzing when we visited on a Friday night - and with good reason: the food is superb. There's an equally tempting brunch menu at weekends, which we'll definitely be back to try. Hellim and walnut-honey butter toasted sandwich with fried Cyprus potatoes and garlic herb mayo on the side? Try keeping us away from that.

Oklava is at 74 Luke Street EC2A 4PY. Find out more about them on Twitter @OKLAVA_LDN

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

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