Having been coaxed out of apparent restaurant retirement for the second time, the man behind Wagamama, Yauatcha and Hakkasan (amongst many, many others), Alan Yau, has made another comeback with a restaurant in Marylebone, by the name of Yamabahce.
Following up his former Shaftesbury Avenue spot, Babaji Pide, it’s also the second time he’s branched into Turkish cuisine. Here, the focus is also on pide, a kind of boat-shaped Turkish pizza bubbling with ingredients that have all been blasted in a heated five minutes in their wood-fired ovens.
It’s these ovens that take centre stage in the restaurant’s white-tiled open kitchen, around which are a mere two tables. Which isn’t a problem, given that most of the seating stretches out of the concertina doors and spills onto the pavement (which is heated in winter).
Back to those pide: the menu changes daily, and is posted on instagram – but don’t hold that against them. It’s also chalked up onto their blackboard, and the staff’ll happily walk you through any unfamiliar ground. Toppings tend to involve the likes of four cheeses; corned beef with egg and parmesan; smoked aubergine with black olives and Fontina cheese; and sucuk, a spicy Turkish sausage. Alongside that, you’ll also find daily special dishes, house-made hummus and za’atar with flatbread, and lahmacun salad; a spicy minced beef and salad pizza.
And to drink? There’s thirst-quenching Turkish beer, freshly made lemonade, Turkish tea, and ayran, one of the country’s national drinks – an iced, salted yoghurt concoction.
Which should suit Yau down to the ground.
NOTE: Yamabahçe is open daily, and doesn’t take bookings – just turn up.
Yamabahce | 26 James Street, W1U 1EN
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