Eat this: Yeni

This restaurant from Istanbul joins the trickle of modern Turkish coming to London.

8 January 2019
dessertmeatmiddle easternrestaurantsseafoodvegetables
  • The Gist: Traditional Turkish dishes with a contemporary twist
  • The Chef: Civan Er
  • Location: 55 Beak St Soho, London W1F 9SH
  • Food in 5 words: Bright flavours of the Bosphorus
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How did we get here?

It all began on the banks of the Bosphorus. This Turkish restaurant opened in 2013 with a menu melding modern cooking with the kofte and street-food stalls of Istanbul’s markets as well as traditional meyhanes (restaurants), where seasonal fish and vegetables are served alongside wine and raki a (brandy flavoured with anise). Its name, Yeni Lokanta, roughly translates to ‘new eatery.’

Now, the restaurant’s signature style will land in Soho on January 21, fronted by Civan Er. The celebrity chef graduated from Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London in 2005 and was proclaimed chef of the year by GQ and Time Out in 2014.

“For me, it’s exciting and humbling to be able to bring Yeni to the city where my professional journey began,” said Er. “Yeni looks forward to inviting London to feast on our take on Istanbul’s style.”

What’s different about it?

Taking Turkish beyond the doner, Yeni is Influenced by Istanbul’s rich food culture and the famed Silk Road, drawing on dishes from different ethnicities that unite on the streets.

These have inspired eats like zeytinyagli, an Aegean method of braising vegetables in olive oil, along with aubergine-filled manti – the Turkish pasta that recently caused a stir in London thanks to Kyseri. There are also fish and meat options such as traditional Antep sausages with borlotti bean puree and line-caught bass with raki and feta.

The original restaurant featured in the World’s 50 Best Discovery Series, which highlights the next generation of eateries that are recommended by a panel of almost 1,000 independent experts from across the world.

You’ve got to try…

Larger plates of its famed oven-roasted ribs with isot pepper on sourdough with cracked wheat, sour cherries and sumac molasses, or the octopus with ‘salty fingers,’ which are prepared on the charcoal josper grill.

Sparkie also likes…

The dessert menu with kadajifi (bread pudding) covered custard fritters and smoked buffalo milk ice cream, as well as salted caramel panna cotta with pumpkin.

Go if…

You want to explore the eats from the streets of Istanbul but can’t afford the flight.

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