Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie, owners of the modern Turkish restaurant Oklava in Shoreditch have confirmed that they will open a second restaurant this spring: Kyseri — focused on food inspired by the region of Kayseri, in central Turkey — will open on Grafton Way, near Warren Street, in early May. The confirmation of the Fitzrovia opening comes after Kiazim was reported to be opening a second Oklava in January.
Where Oklava has become known for its modern take on the grill and wood-fired cooking of Turkey and Cyprus, Kyseri will instead be orientated around pasta: manti (tortellini-sized dumplings, pronounced ‘mant-uh’ or ‘munt-ah’) and erişte (described by Kiazim as like “broken tagliatelli”) which will be made in the window of the restaurant each day.
The menu will be divided into five sections: Snacks, starters, pastas, main courses and desserts. Within each section there will be three choices, meaning that menu minimalism will move over from Oklava. At Kyseri, Kiazim is hoping to introduce Londoners to what is perhaps a lesser-known side to Turkish cooking. The chef detailed many of the new dishes she’ll be introducing at the 35-cover (plus 8-seat terrace) site this spring:
· House-cured Kayseri pastirma (a Turkish version of bresaola, made with beef from Warren’s in Cornwall; the cure uses a spice mix called cemen, which contains fenugreek, garlic, cumin and paprika.)
· Cypriot hellimli loaf and Black Sea fondue (crisp, oily focaccia-like bread with melted halloumi, onion and mint — a dish inspired by muhlama, a very stretchy fondue-like mixture, made with cornmeal, lots of butter and cheese.)
· Veal sweetbread, braised garlic, brown butter and hazelnut yoghurt (Kiazim wants to introduce more offal at Kyseri.)
· Slow cooked celeriac, preserved mandarin and sunflower seeds (a vegetarian dish the chef has been working on for some months. “I put as much effort into vegetarian dishes as meat ones,” she said.)
· Manti: spiced beef and sour cherry, yoghurt sauce, tomato-chilli butter and pine nuts (Kiazim says that traditionally manti are supposed to be so small as to be able to fit 40 on one spoon. She will go a little bigger, instead aiming for a size closer to a tortellini.)
· Erişte (served classically with walnuts, parsley, garlic and white cheese.)
· Roasted halibut, hamsi pilav and sivri butter
· Roasted Cornish duck breast with black garlic, braised leg gözleme (thin pastry), with a salad dressed in grape molasses. (Kiazim has just begun working with famed Cornish butcher Warren’s; these prized ducks are used by chefs at The Clove Club and Brat.)
· Pistachio and kaymak katmer, mastic ice cream
Christie, Kiazim’s business partner, is taking a lead on wine, “using her extensive knowledge of wines from her career to date at Kyseri,” (and also from her personal project Linden Stores, on Highbury Corner) to introduce to Kyseri’s list a number of small producers from across Turkey and the Middle East.
Kiazim was keen to stress that Kyseri would not be “concept driven” and that it would be “a good old fashioned restaurant” at which she hoped people would each order three or four courses. “I always have lots of ideas,” she told Eater. “It’s good to have an opportunity to now create two menus [one for each restaurant.]”
Opening: Tuesday — Saturday, 12 – 3 pm, 5.30 – 10.30 pm.