The meyhane is to the Turks what the taverna is to the Greeks, and the cha-chan-tang is to the Hong Kong Chinese – a lively watering hole that combines low-key but good food, drinks, gossip and bonhomie in equal measure. Levent Buyukugur and Sanjay Nandi, the duo behind Mayfair’s Ristorante Frescobaldi are hoping that Londoners will take to their spruced up take on the meyhane.
They’ve certainly pulled out all stops on the design of the Baker Street premises, rolling out Afroditi Krassa for the contemporary interiors, Matt Whiley for the cocktails in the raki bar, local artist Neal Fox for the specially commissioned artwork, and Jamie Oliver alumnus Hus Vedat for the kitchen.
Krassa has orchestrated a room lined with timber cabinetry, pink marble, and weathered subway tiles around an open kitchen with grill and dining counter.
Meanwhile, the menu plumbs Anatolian cuisine by way of a sequence of cold mezes, hot starters, and Turkish grilled yummies from the on-site mangal clay oven. There are delights on every page, not the least of which are the grilled fish and whole lambs that Vedet joints on the premises and then hand-chops to turn into kebabs with burnt tomatoes and peppers, or stuffs into dumplings that are served with yoghurt, chilli and mint.