Tas on The Cut is part of a small but very successful chain of restaurants in London that don’t break the bank but give your tastebuds a real treat. Anatolian in origin, they offer something for everyone with a very rich and varied menu.
Found literally a stone’s throw from Southwark tube station, or a five minute walk from Waterloo station, Tas on The Cut couldn’t be easier to find – just head for the hanging baskets of flowers and greenery surrounding the floor to ceiling windows. Once inside the restaurant, which obviously prides itself on presentation, the clean white tablecloths and linen napkins adorn the uniform tables with high-backed dining chairs giving the restaurant an immediate feel of something a bit special. The floor is part wood and part stone tiles lending a Mediterranean feel to go with the whitewashed walls. As soon as you walk through the door you are greeted and welcomed like an old friend returning for dinner, whether it’s your first or hundredth visit.
Relaxed and calm even when busy, the staff are very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable about the food and wine they serve – nothing seems too much trouble to explain.
Turkish music plays in the background, giving the restaurant an authentic air. Tas on The Cut attracts a lot of after work suits during the week and business lunches but at the weekend has a more mixed clientele with families, tourists and locals all mixing together and enjoying the atmosphere.
There is an absolute array of delightfully tempting dishes on offer so try to be decisive otherwise you’ll be here all night – not that they mind, but you might get hungry deciding! Everything on the menu is made with the freshest of ingredients and prepared on the spot, so you may have to wait a short time for some dishes – but it’s definitely worth it. . Obviously the menu changes from time to time and if there is something not available the staff will inform you when they give you the menu, which is rather polite – there’s nothing worse than taking ages to pick something to be told it’s run out.
The Turkish mezes are always very popular as they do them so well. There are various special menus on offer for a minimum of two people and cost around £10 a head, or you can just choose the dishes individually for a more tailored approach. A must is the hummus and cacik dips with homemade traditional pide bread. the large portion of hummus is thick and pale in colour, with a tangy lemon flavour whilst the cacik is also nice and thick with strips of cucumber and fresh mint, served with or without garlic. Hot starters include four soups, red lentil, chicken and coriander, vegetable and a traditional Turkish watery broth made with mussels, ginger and celery – very tasty, light and mild but with all the separate flavours instantly recognisable. Patlican-Biber Kizartma – a mouthful in more ways than one – is made of perfectly cooked, soft aubergine in tomato sauce with peppers and yoghurt on the side.
Fresh from the barbeque grill and served with couscous (unless otherwise requested) comes a healthy choice of steak, chicken wings, liver, kebabs of different meats and cuts, and vegetables, ranging from £4.15 to £11.95. Tas restaurants are renowned for their stews and casseroles this location does a mean incik – lamb in tomato sauce – is cooked until it falls off the bone and is melt in the mouth perfect. The dessert menu isn’t too long and is much easier to choose from with traditional Turkish delights in the way of baklava and sutlac, a warm rice pudding flavoured with rose water and orange rind – a very different way to enjoy the old English classic.
You can’t fail to be impressed by Tas’s extensive wine list with bottles from around the world. A highly recommended white is the Veramonte Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, with an easy drinking dryness that goes well with most dishes and a clean, slightly lemony and crisp apple flavour. If red is more your thing then the Tas house red – Turkish, of course – is very drinkable with quite a robust berry spiciness that tastes better quality than a standard house wine.
There are also lots of other drinks to choose from if you’re not in the mood for wine such as spirits and a full range of liquors. Beer is unfortunately limited but fresh juices are available. The wines range from £13.20 to £31.95, Champagnes and sparkling wines range from about £16 to £40, soft drinks are around £2 and spirits and liquors are about £3 to £4. All in all, it’s a very modestly priced drinks menu for Central London.
The Last Word
There really is something for every palate here at Tas. The prices are very reasonable for the size of the portions and the freshly cooked ingredients – try it, you won’t be disappointed.