This cute little Mediterranean cafe might not receive the footfall it once enjoyed, but the redevelopment of Farringdon station doesn’t seem to stop the crowds popping in.
Hundreds of people used to walk past this spot when Farringdon had a side entrance, but no more – the newly paved road acts only as a walkway to some wandering down from Clerkenwell. Still, it remains popular, and with good reason: it’s a good-looking, clean venue run by people (a family?) who clearly love what they do. Most of the business seems to be breakfast and lunchtime takeaways but there is a small seating area that is kept pretty full by local workers grabbing a bite.
The staff really are affable, and show remarkable memories, so expect to be shouted your order as soon as you walk through the door – regular or not. They’re also always on hand with little samples to let you know what’s on and what’s coming up, enabling you to try something you might not have ordered before. They’re pretty speedy too, and very smiley, with repeat custom no doubt important to their success.
The menu here is Mediterranean, but with a heavy slant toward Turkey, where the family obviously come from. A few hot wraps are waiting to be warmed (the lamb kofte with mozzarella, salad and mild sauce is particularly good), sandwiches sit in the chiller alongside a few smaller meze bits (the salads are great) and some brilliantly warming lentil stews and soups with a bit of spice bubble away in one corner.
The platters are really good if you’re sitting in with friends, with each catering for about four people, allowing for greediness. The meze platter (£19.95) features some great tabouleh, a fresh and flavourful cous cous salad, houmous with a bit of bite, some decent falafel, decent stuffed vine leaves and a little pot of cacik. Loads of Turkish bread on the side should keep even the hungriest diners happy.
A fruit platter (£16.95) is similarly generous (and they obviously source their fruit well) but for a great lunch try the wrap platter (£19.95), comprising 20 mini-wraps with falafel, chicken shish, turkey, feta, chicken and spicy sausage.
There’s no drinks license but some really good, fresh juices are waiting in the chiller (orange with apple juice, pomegranate and mint is beautiful), and coffee that Turkish visitors would no doubt be very proud to see being made doesn’t cost much at all (£1.20-£2).
The Last Word
A lovely little spot for breakfast or lunch run by a team that clearly loves what it’s doing.