Mangal Ocakbasi

The smell of char grilled meat wafts out the door of Mangal Ocakbasi in Stoke Newington. Once inside you are hit by a blast of heat from the huge grill where skewers of every type of meat sizzle away. Clouds of smoke billow up filling the room as flames lick the meat and straight away you know you have entered a carnivores paradise.
The grill at Mangal Ocakbasi
The restaurant is as no frills as the slightly grimy street it is situated in. Bare tables are closely packed together and service is pretty non-existent. While our meals came out quickly it took us about three separate requests to get a bill and our waiter seemed strangely preoccupied with arranging napkins and cutlery on tables rather than serving customers. Still, given the bargain basement prices I suppose you can hardly expect Michelin star worthy attention.
Mixed meze
We started with the mixed meze which was divided into four quarters of a creamy hommus, tangy cacik and two salata tomato based dips. It came with a huge basket of bread. Clearly though this was just a precursor for the meat that was to follow.
From there we had the cop sis lamb kebabs (£9.50) which had a great charred flavour but were a little tough. A much better option was the brilliant chicken in garlicky yoghurt, the yoghurtul tavuk sis (£10.50). The creamy yoghurt sauce was draped over chunks of moist chicken and soft bread which had been almost caramalised. Genius.
Yoghurtul tavuk sis
We finished with some baklava (£3) which had a nice soggy base and flaky top and provided a requisite sweet finish to our meal. Unfortunately our accompanying mint tea was a peppermint tea bag rather than the fresh mint I was hoping for, but at £15 a head for three courses, a glass of wine and tea it would feel churlish to complain to much. For an even cheaper meal, Mangal Ocakbasi also does BYO drinks at no corkage charge.
Mangal Ocakbasi is a good cheap option for grilled meat, although don’t go with high expectations of the service or any additional frills.
Details: Mangal Ocakbasi, 10 Arcola Street, Stoke Newington, E8 2DJ (Ph: 020 7275 8981)
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my reviews of other Turkish restaurants in London, Gallipoli and Kazan. Mangal Ocakbasi on Urbanspoon


  1. At least the food came quick. They seems to be working on mastering one process at a time, food delivery done.

  2. i love love love baklava! especially with yoghurt or cream poured over it. although these look v different to the ones im used to, more light/coloured.

  3. The grill looks amazing! Reminds me of Beijing lamb skewers!

  4. Sounds fun … how did you find this one – I like that it’s off the beaten track.

  5. Mmmmm the mixed meze plate looks amazing. Is one of them eggplant? And baklava… *love*

  6. Three Cookies – That is true, it was very quick

    Campari & Soda – I agree, I have to order it if it is on a menu

    Mama Lan – The grill was huge

    Greedy Diva – My lovely friend Johanna lives nearby and recommended it – yes it is off the beaten track for us West Londoners/ Soho dwellers.

    Catty – Yes one of them was eggplant and I agree baklava is ace!

  7. Ah this looks a bit more affordable for me. Stoke Newington is very close to me as the crow flies but total nightmare on public transport and has very restrictive parking… so sadly I rarely go. Looks like very tasty food.

  8. I can definitely cope with poor service if they are as good as they sound at grilling meat. Seriously missing Turkish food. And your review has only made things worse.

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