Celebrated Turkish chef Civan Er and restaurateur Cem Bilge will open their debut London restaurant Yeni on 4 February, a week later than originally expected.
The restaurateur and chef behind Istanbul’s lauded restaurant Yeni Lokanta was reported to be opening a restaurant on Beak Street in Soho last September, and Yeni will open at number 55, according to Hot Dinners. It replaces wine bar Vinoteca, which closed owing to licensing restrictions.
Yeni will serve many of the dishes that anchor its Istanbul menu: the braised vegetables that make up zeytinyagli, aubergine-filled manti with goats’ yoghurt, and oven-roasted ribs with isot pepper on sourdough with cracked wheat, sour cherries and sumac molasses. This will be prepared on a charcoal josper grill, in a significant nod to the ocakbasi culture that currently defines many of London’s Anatolian restaurants.
Er’s London debut will join Selin Kiazim’s Oklava and Kyseri — in Shoreditch and Fitzrovia respectively — in representing contemporary Anatolian cookery in central London, alongside Tim Dela Cruz at Skewd in Cockfosters. London’s broader Turkish restaurant culture is synonymous with the neighbourhoods of Dalston, Stoke Newington, and the length of Green Lanes, where ocakbasi set up by Turkish, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, and Kurdish immigrants serve the communities built between them.
Open since 2013, Yeni Lokanta is one of Istanbul’s essential restaurants, where Er “skilfully incorporates local ingredients into modern Turkish cooking, meaning Yeni Lokanta’s menu offers a new direction for traditional cuisine.” Er says: “it’s exciting and humbling to be able to bring Yeni to the city where my professional journey began. Yeni looks forward to inviting London to feast on our take on Istanbul’s style.”