Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie, owners of Shoreditch modern Turkish restaurant Oklava, have headed west for their second joint venture — Kyseri, which takes its name from a Turkish province with a unique gastronomic culture. Where Oklava majored on plates from the charcoal grill, Kyseri’s signature is Turkish pastas, made fresh in-house every day. These include the tortelloni-esque manti (pronounced ‘mant-uh’) and erişte (pronounced ‘erish-teh’): think artfully broken tagliatelle.
At 64 Grafton Way, just around the corner from Warren Street station, there’s a certain family resemblance to its older sibling: the corner site has filament bulbs, bare brick and air-dried pastirma beef curing on ceiling hooks. However, the overall look is less minimalist, with mid-century, jewel-toned accents and plenty of greenery.
Dishes from the rest of the menu, which is divided into: Snacks, first course, second course, third course and fourth course, include:
- Slow cooked celeriac, preserved mandarin and sunflower seeds
- Roasted halibut, hamsi pilav and sivri butter
- Cornish duck breast, braised leg gözleme, grape molasses and black garlic
- Pistachio and kaymak katmer, mastic ice cream
Christie, Kiazim’s long-time business partner, is in charge of the wines. Fans of the “gluggable” selection at Linden Stores, her bottle-shop-cum-restaurant in Highbury, will be rubbing their hands with glee at the list, which is led by small producers based across Turkey, Cyprus and the Middle East, and runs in order of “body,” rather than price. Everything on it is available by the glass and carafe.
Kiazim’s hope is that diners will order multiple courses, eating and drinking their way around a region that might be new to them. She stresses that Kyseri is a “good old fashioned restaurant”, rather than a “concept driven” venue — but admits that she’s enjoying the challenge of creating a distinct identity for it.
“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.]”
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