Saturday 28 June 2014

Naciye Nene’s Cookbook . Scrambled egg & artichoke / Yumurtalı enginar

Prep Time: 40 minutes      Cook Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 55 minutes

Part of the thistle family, the globe artichoke is native to the Mediterranean region and used in various dishes. While still seen as exotic, its appeal is slowly catching on in Britain and it can be found in most continental supermarkets pretty much all year round. This recipe is one of our late Naciye nene’s favourites: a tasty, light and nutritious meal that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients – serves 4:

4 medium-sized globe artichokes
6 eggs
Salt & pepper
Sunflower oil

Bread (for toast)

1.       When buying your artichokes, pick firm heavy ones that are a healthy green (not brown) colour, with the outer petals tightly held together. Limp ones suggest the artichoke is drying out, while those where the outer leaves have started to open out (like a flower blooming) suggests they are slightly past their optimal freshness. Store in a cool dry place and aim to use within a few days of purchase.
2.       Pull off the leaves from the artichoke. You can throw these away, but the green leaves do make for a tasty snack – nibble on the raw soft fleshy part of the lower insider part of each leaf. Once you’ve removed all the leaves, you will be down to the ‘hairy heart’ on the stem.

3.       Cut off the stem and trim its hard outer green edges to leave the inner creamy white core. Put each stem into a bowl of cold water, to stop it from turning brown from oxidation, while you finish off the rest of the artichoke.
4.       Using a sharp paring knife, scrape off the hairs from the artichoke heart and carefully cut away the hard inedible green edges, taking care not to also remove the inner creamy white flesh of the artichoke. Place the small fuzz-free hearts into cold water.

5.       Now chop each of these white creamy hearts and stems into small pieces, about 2cm wide and return to the cold water to ensure they don’t turn brown.
6.       Break the eggs into a vessel and whisk lightly. Season with salt and pepper.
7.       Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan – enough to cover the base. Drain the water from the artichokes and fry on a low-to-medium heat (depending on the size of your pan, it may be easier to do this as two batches). Stir occasionally as they cook, turning a light golden colour, which should take about 5 minutes.
8.       Pour the beaten eggs over the artichokes and let them cook for about 30 seconds without stirring. Then, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir by lifting the mixture from the bottom of the pan and folding in. Let it sit for another 10-20 seconds and repeat. Keep going until the eggs are cooked through. If you have split the ingredients into two batches, repeat steps 7 and 8 for the next batch, but do keep the first batch warm or serve immediately.
9.       Serve the scrambled egg and artichoke hot with freshly toasted bread and a healthy squeeze of lemon. Afiyet olsun!

Friday 27 June 2014

Catch last few shows of Arcola Ala Turca’s current theatre double bill: Dışardan Gelen and Kel Şarkıcı


Award-winning theatre and opera director Aylin Bozok is behind this week’s double bill of Symbolist and Absurd masterpieces of European theatre at North London’s Arcola Theatre. Both plays are in Turkish with English surtitles.

The first, Dışardan Gelen / The Intruder by Maurice Maeterlinck, is about a ghost story in which a family is gathered to await the arrival of a sister of mercy to attend an ailing woman: the flickering light, the silence in the garden and the blind grandfather's sense, that death has entered the room. Its cast includes: Gökmen Güvener, Ozan Atmaca, Olgu Kocakülah, Özlem Atik, Serpil Delice, Deniz Gezici and Hülya Ciereszko

In Kel Şarkıcı / Bald Prima Donna, a comedy by Eugène Ionesco, the Smiths are a traditional couple from London who have invited another couple, the Martins, over for a visit. They are joined later by the Smiths' maid, Mary, and the local fire chief, who is also Mary's lover. The two families engage in meaningless banter, telling stories which gradually descend into the Absurd. The cast: Buke Soyusinmez, Dursun Kuran, Ada Burke, Ozan Atmaca, Olgu Kocakülah and Serpil Delice

Ala-Turka is one of the UK’s leading Turkish language theatre companies. It was launched as the Arcola Turkish & Kurdish Theatre Group in 2001 when Arcola Theatre’s founder and Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen led a series of workshops with young adult members of the British Turkish and Kurdish community. These workshops developed into the first production, A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, performed in Turkish and directed by Mehmet Ergen.

The productions of The Intruder and Bald Prima Donna is supported by the Metropolitan Migration Foundation.

Show dates: Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 June 2014
Venue address:  Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL
Starts: 8pm / Saturday matinee: 3pm
Running time: approx. 75 minutes
Tickets: £9 (£7concessions) – this show is not part of the Arcola Passport scheme

Related stories: 

Thursday 26 June 2014

Ali Bakır inaugurated as Enfield Mayor

New Enfield Mayor Ali Bakır with Turkish Counsel-General Emirhan Yorulmazlar. Photo: Londra Gazette
By Boulent Mustafa


A British Turkish councillor was recently appointed the Mayor of the London Borough of Enfield. Labour councillor Ali Bakır, originally from Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey, will serve as Mayor for the next 12 months. Recently re-elected to represent Upper Edmonton for a second term, he takes over from incumbent Chaudhury Anwar.

 Chaudhury Anwar hands overs to Ali Bakır
Bakır’s inauguration was attended by Emirhan Yorulmazlar, the Turkish Consel-General in London, businessman Ali Matur, and fellow Labour councillors from Enfield and Haringey, together with members of his family. Of Kurdish origin, Bakır is a businessman running a continental-style supermarket in Ealing, west London.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Lemon Compendium: a book every household should own

Author Yasemen Kaner-White's first book is an encyclopaedic go-to reference for all things lemon

By Leyla Kazim

Yasemen Kaner-White is a woman after my own heart; like me, the juice of lemons may as well run through her veins. I put that down to our Turkish Cypriot heritage – no dish is complete without a dash (or seven).

The love of this citrus combined with Yasemen’s international spirit, passion for travel and thirst for knowledge has culminated in her first book – an encyclopaedic go-to reference for anything concerning this humble fruit.

Lemon Compendium isn’t just a cookbook with a lemon-focused recipe on almost every other page (and there are a lot of wonderful recipes); it is also a learning tool, a history lesson, a travel brochure, a domestic chores manual, and a beauty guide – not to mention a coffee-table crowd pleaser.

Want the translation of a German lemon-devoted poem by Goethe? It’s in here. After some lemon-oriented jokes? Look no further. Didn’t know lemon juice can make your toilet flush better? You do now.

A particularly fascinating section is one of the largest: Global Lemony Grub. Here you’ll find a recipe from every corner of the globe that uses lemons; from Anguilla’s grilled lobster with lemon herb butter, to Zambia’s Piri Piri sauce, it’s a wonderful insight into the far-reaching appreciation of the presence of lemon in food.

For those in the know, the lemon has a limitless number of guises and uses. If you’re not one of these people, Lemon Compendium will right that wrong. The sheer wealth of research, expertise and time (two years in the making) that Yasemen has so evidently poured into this labour of love is highly commendable and something she is no doubt extremely proud of.

Whether you’re a lemon-lover, cookbook-hoarder, knowledge-seeker, kitchen aficionado, travel enthusiast, gourmand or just a reader of books in general, Lemon Compendium is a unique offering in the world of food literature that anyone could enjoy. The forward by 2-Michelin star chef Mauro Colagreco includes the bold statement, “This is a book every household should own”. I think he might be right.

For more information or to get your own copy, visit:

Monday 16 June 2014

Culture . Classics (issue 6)

For each issue of T-VINE, we ask two personalities to tell us about their favourite British and Turkish classics. We are feeding them all into our definitive list of classic British and Turkish books, films and albums.

Below renowned best-selling author Sibel Hodge selects her British classics. Sibel was the focus of issue 6’s My World interview. 

Sound Affects
The Jam, 1980, Polydor Records

I was a Mod growing up so this classic is from my youth. This was the 5th studio album by The Jam – the mod revival’s most famous band. In 2006, Q Magazine placed the album at No. 15 on its list of "40 Best Albums of the 80s". It includes memorable hits like That's Entertainment, Monday, and Start. I played it so much I can still remember all the words!

Animal Farm
George Orwell, 1945

I read it in school but only understood the themes superficially. When I re-read it as an adult I thought it was amazing. It's thought-provoking and so cleverly written, with Orwell's use of animals to tell the story of communism (and society as a whole). Orwell portrays a different class of people through each animal on the farm. The quote I'll always remember from it is: "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

Love Actually
Dir. Richard Curtis, 2003

This is a classic Christmas themed romantic comedy that follows ten different love stories, all interlinked in some way. Richard Curtis is an incredibly talented writer and director (famous also for Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral), and Love Actually was another box office hit for him, with over $240 million receipts worldwide, as well as becoming a multi-award winning film. Classic British wit, a great cast, romance – what more could you want? 


Award-winning photographer Tijen Erol shares her all-time Turkish favourites with us. Her photos featured in issue 6’s WWW.Turks page.

Cem Karaca, 1977, Yavuz Plak

Cem Karaca is a Turkish rock legend. His music has touched me since my childhood. He was the first to combine Anatolian lyrics with contemporary rock music. The first song I heard by him was Tamirci Çırağı (on his classic Parka album); after that I was hooked, collecting all his songs. His music reflected his political views, not well tolerated by the Turkish authorities. An arrest warrant forced him to live in West Germany until 1987.

Baba ve Piç (The Bastard of Istanbul)
Elif Şafak, 2006

Four Armenian sisters and one daughter, Asya, live together in a house in Istanbul. The sole family male is their brother, who lives in the United States with his wife and daughter, Armanoush. Cousins Asya and Armanoush meet in Istanbul, exploring their identity and the fate of Armenians. This powerful tale highlights the hardships of ethnic minorities in Turkey and the ignorance surrounding the Armenian massacres of 1915.

Kalbin Zamanı
Dir. Ali Özgentürk, 2004

With its original storyline (for Turkish movies), this murder-mystery is set in the historic Pera Palace. The film starts in the 1980s with a detective trying to piece together details about an unsolved murder that took place thirty years earlier. Three men had fallen desperately in love with the same beautiful woman. One of the love rivals is murdered, but you are kept waiting until the very end of the movie to find out by whom.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Las Vegas: what to see and where to eat, play, party and relax

Arguably the world’s greatest leisure and entertainment destination, Las Vegas is a city that is forever reinventing itself. With a host of major new attractions, it pays to get out of your resort and explore Vegas more fully.

·         The 4-mile Last Vegas Strip from a height to get a sense of the enormity of pleasure available in Sin City. At 550 ft tall, the High Roller at the Linq is the world's largest observation wheel.
·         Alternatively use the SlotZilla zip line: take off from an 11-storey slot machine-themed platform, travelling 110 ft above the heads of fellow visitors before landing on a canopy some 1,700 ft later. Perfect for thrill-seekers.
·         A Vegas show. Among the most popular are: the Michael Jackson One by Cirque du Soleil at
Mandalay Bay, and Le Rêve (The Dream) at The Wynn,
      voted best show in Vegas, a spectacular and mesmerising aqua theatre show.
·         Famous Las Vegas signs from the twentieth century re-presented as public art at the Neon Museum.

·         Feast on pan-Asian flavours for brunch through to dinner at the Poppy Den, a new trendy diner in Tivoli Village.
·         Tuck into Vegas’ finest seafood at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab.
·         The Barrymore if you are after high-end classic American cuisine: a 14-ounce serving of dry-aged New York strip or 
      the 18-ounce bone-in rib-eye steak.

   ·         Poker with the rest of the world: the World Poker Series runs from 27 May to 14 July 2014.
   ·         Pass the Line at a Craps table – perfect for those new to gambling. Place your chips for a 50:50 chance of winning. You don’t have to understand all the rules, just wait for the crowd to cheer or go silent to know if you’ve won.

   ·         Hardcore clubbers should head to the Marquee (The Cosmopolitan), the XS (Wynn) or Light (Mandalay Bay).
   ·         On the 55th floor at Palms at the Ghostbar. It’s pricey but this sophisticated night out comes with incredible 360-degree views of Vegas.

    ·         Drive and hike through Red Rock Canyon. This peaceful natural park with its stunning scenery is the perfect anecdote to the hustle and bustle of Vegas.
    ·         Release your Vegas sins with a deep pamper at The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental. Inspired by the exotic luxury of 1930s Shanghai, enjoy the serene pleasures on offer across its two floors.

Thursday 12 June 2014

70s Child

Ertanch pictured on his first day in the UK

By Ertanch Hidayettin

Which decade do you most associate your life with? Which decade has played the most important role in your life?

I consider myself a 70s child. Although I was born in the early 50s, I was more interested in staying alive in war-torn Cyprus than fashion and pop music. So the 60s – the decade of freedom – passed me by.

The other day, waiting to pick my prescription at Tesco, I came across an amazing CD sale. I grabbed the 3-CD collection titled ‘Greatest Ever 70s Pop: The Definitive Collection’. I listen to the unforgettable tunes of that great decade, as I write this.

The 70s were the most important decade in my life. I lived many firsts during this decade.
I experienced migration for the first time in 1970. From a limited existence on a small island to one of the largest cosmopolitan melting pots. London. I realised there was a culture shock, as well as an electric shock that year.

Like a fish out of water, I spent a whole six months frustrated, unable to make myself understood. And I thought my English was fantastic. After all, my lowest mark was 95 out of 100 in that subject. Later, I would appreciate what a good deed our teachers did to us in Cyprus, by emphasising grammar.

I was so hungry to learn, to see, to absorb the culture of this city. I visited all the main museums and galleries, and places of interest within a few weeks. I even hopped on a coach at Turnpike Lane bus station, purchasing a ticket, not knowing where the coach was going. In the event we visited the hops gardens of Kent and learned how beer was made.

I went to ballet for the first time a few weeks after that. I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing so but for the insistence of my first girlfriend, lovely Shirin from Iran. I tagged along to the Coliseum with her and her cultured parents.

I learned there were other ethnic communities other than Turks and Greeks. In actual fact it was the first time I ever spoke to a Greek Cypriot. I don’t count the angry words uttered by the huge bloke who once chased me out of the Nicosia Library in 1969.

I loved mixing with lots of different ethnic cultures, hungrily absorbing information they volunteered about themselves, their families, communities, and their way of living.

I touched snow for the first time. I played snowball on the morning of 25 December 1970. I received my first Christmas presents for the first time that day. I watched Clive Dunn singing ‘Granddad’ on Top of the Pops.

My first gainful employment took place in the 70s. As a washer-up at the Palmers Green Wimpy Bar.  Washing dishes at Wimpy Bars was then every Cypriot’s first job.

When we got fed up of Wimpies, our Chef Altan (Altan Gultekin of Starburgers now) cooked us delicious Cypriot dishes in huge pans, quenching our longing for our motherland.

My next job was working at a smelly plastic factory in Barnet. It was the first time I mingled amongst predominantly English people. The school-master like foreman loved pop music. So we listened to Radio 1 all day while working. He especially liked Jimmy Young’s Hour.

The Winter of Discontent came by in the early seventies. We watched violent clashes at various mines on our black and white hired TV set. Frequent electricity cuts meant I had to study for my ‘O’ Level exams under candle light during those dark, cold winter nights, wrapping myself with thick blankets

The ‘Iron Lady’ gained prominence during the seventies, first as the Education Minister. I remember leading marches as a college student, shouting into the microphone: “Mrs. Thatcher, milk snatcher” with my thick Cypriot accent.
Ertanch saw Chuck Berry play at the Rainbow in London
My adventure with discoteques started almost as soon as I arrived in London. The first disco I was taken to by my cousin was Tiffany’s in Leicester Square. With ten Cypriots – we went around in large groups then.

I wore platform shoes for the first time at Birds Nest on Muswell Hill. That would become our regular place on Saturday, sometimes Sunday, nights. There we danced to the tune of ‘Dancing on a Saturday Night’ with Cypriot Greek friends. The music sounded slightly Greek in the middle.

Oh yes, we used to wear sunglasses at this disco. Frequently bumping into posts, saying sorry.

At the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, I went to my first concert given by an internationally famous singer. I watched Chuck Berry make his guitar cry. I did not understand the meaning of the song ‘My Ding-A-Ling’ then.

I wore prescription glasses in the 70s for the first time. That very day I picked my glasses, I went to a football match at White Heart Lane. Needless to say I couldn’t see a thing. I don’t think I missed much.

The first time I went to an Arsenal match was exactly two weeks after I arrived in London. They were my heroes even in Cyprus, due to my fanatical Arsenal-supporting uncle’s influence. We used to watch them on our newly acquired black and white TV set. I would watch many more matches with my uncle from the stands of the North Bank.

I got drunk for the first time, drinking Cyprus wine. I think it was Othello. Much later, my friends and I would be drunk, drinking mainly vodka and orange, or vodka and blackcurrant juice, occasionally Johnny Walker. I always cried when I was drunk, especially when I listened to The Carpenter’s ‘Yesterday Once More’.

I become politically conscious in the 70s. First, I followed the establishment of the first Turkish Cypriot left wing party, CTP in Cyprus. Huseyin Osman, a CTP activist organised us youngsters and lectured us on weekly sessions.

I would then have my horizon widened on Socialism and the importance of the union movement during lessons given to us by Yashar Ismailoglu at the Metal Box Company where I worked during the holidays. These sessions always took place in the toilets. One of us would be assigned to stand guard outside in case Woolly, the fierce foreman, decided to take a pee.

I became a tenant for the first time in 1971. Later, we would be tenants at a few more houses with my wife. I remember high-pitched screams of Erkan, the young ground floor tenant, one sultry summer evening. He had just heard of his idol’s Elvis’s death. That whole week we both played Elvis songs: he downstairs, me on the top floor.

I left the warmth of family life the second time and went to live in halls of residence in 1974. I completed my higher education as a teacher in 1977. I understood for the first time the true reason for education in those years.

Then the start of voluntary work in numerous community organisations, including those from my own community.

In 1974, while working at the Metal Box factory one hot summer day, Yasar Ismailoglu told me that my town had surrendered, and many people were taken prisoners. My grandmother and brother were among them. Subsequent long days passed as I waited hoping to get good news on their fate, along with the fate of many other Cypriots, Turkish and Greek.

My first-ever visit from UK was to Germany, West Germany then, to see my aunt. When I returned, my brave response to an arrogant immigration officer’s question, “How long are you going to stay?” was, ”As long as I like”. I had ‘indefinite leave to remain’ stamped into my passport.

In 1977, I bowed to my mum’s pressure and agreed that she should search for a suitable wife for me. I was 24. Marriage to my lovely wife Ayla took place at Wood Green Civic Centre, where I would attend numerous meetings as a Haringey employee in later years.

My first regular employment after graduating from teaching college was not as a teacher, but in a variety of positions in various local authorities. That would go on for what seemed like an eternity, concluding after 30 years.

David Cassidy’s popular song ‘Daydreamer’ is playing on iTunes. I better wake up from dreaming and finish my urgent reports.

Ertanch Hidayettin is a Cypriot Turk of African heritage and a new T-VINE columnist. He arrived in the UK in 1970 and qualified as a teacher before choosing a career in local government. He has 30 years experience in working for local authorities in a variety of posts and was an Equality Officer for Islington Council when he took early retirement in 2007. Since then he has been working for the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE), supporting supplementary schools in North London. He has extensive experience as a community activist, and in recent years has become a media commentator, presenting on Kibris Genc TV and writing a regular Turkish column for Kibris Postasi.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

“S” is for….luxury?


By Ossie Mustafa

There are many high-end executive vehicles in the car world: BMW, Jaguar and even Volkswagen, to name just a few, have been selling hi-tech super luxury automobiles for years. But for all their hard work they have not been able to topple the car manufacturer who continually manages to keep ahead of the pack: Mercedes Benz is the manufacturer and the S-Class is the car ahead of the rest.

Since the beginning of time, Mercedes Benz has always been a by-word for luxury saloon cars, a car maker who until recently only had big cars. You kind of had to be of a certain age and of a certain status to drive one. These days they can sell you a decent hatch-back or two-door coupé and even an F1 car with the famous three pointed star stuck to the front. However, their best-known car has got to be the S-Class.

The latest incarnation has already been crowned the Best Luxury Car of 2014 by What Car? Magazine, but this is not just because it has the softest seats: look a little closer and you can see there is more to this car. In fact, among my friends we have a saying: “If you want to see what kind of tech you will be enjoying in your family run-around in ten years time, look at an S-Class today”. That’s because every new gadget Mercedes has hiding in the lab is fitted to their flagship model.

The most recent is a nice new V12 Bi-turbo engine with a larger 6.0 litre capacity, which can shift the long wheel-base monster from 0-60 in a mere 4.9 seconds, making the new S600 AMG the most powerful S-Class, as well as the most costly they have to offer. The S600 also has some cool tech inside the cabin, as well as under the hood: toys like a new touchpad allowing all the functions of the head unit to be controlled by fingertip gesture, just like a smartphone. You can also ask for a very advanced windscreen head-up display, which provides information on speed, speed limits and navigation instructions, to name just a few.

You would think that all this advancement spelled bad news for the environment but you would be wrong, as the new V12 is in fact 21% better for the polar bears than its predecessor where carbon emissions are concerned.

Overall the S600 seems to be continuing the good work that S-Classes of old did, but the cost of this latest car is far from the price tags of the early days. They have yet to release the cost, but you can be sure it will be north of £100,000. I doubt it will stop Mercedes selling shed loads of them.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Propa Turkish . Turkish Weddings


By Eray & Koray

There was a time when Turkish weddings were THE social event of the calendar: a chance for Turks to come together and socialise and, for some, it was a chance to pick a future bride. Weddings have changed over time, but there are a few traditions we just don’t understand.

How comes the bride and groom never look into each other’s eyes during their first dance? Why does the band employ a ‘dollars boy’ when kids will pick up the cash for free? Whose idea was it to bring out a vegetable platter post dessert? And finally, since when was it not enough to get coins and cheap sweets from the smashed testi? These days, kids expect Haribo and £5 notes.

Wu-Tang Clan once said “Cash rules everything around me” and Turkish weddings are no exception!

Monday 9 June 2014

Sun shines brightly on first Turkish Day in Trafalgar Square

Headliner Can Bonomo delivers an "exhilerating" show at a Turkish Day in London

By Muhsin Mustafa

Thousands of people filled Trafalgar Square on Sunday 1st June for Turkish Day in London – the first time a Turkish cultural festival has been held in this iconic central space. The event had been postponed for few weeks as a show of respect to those who had died in the Soma mining disaster in Turkey. When it did happen, Serkan Kurt and Erdal Koyuncu, the two founders of Turkish Day in London, promised to, ‘’Bring together Londoners, visitors and the Turkish Community in the United Kingdom to enjoy the many Turkish delights on offer, from the food to the music, to the dancing and arts.”

The event ran from noon until 8.30pm....and what a day it turned out to be! The sun was shining as British Turks from London and the suburbs turned up in great numbers. You could feel the energy among the people, with many friends and relatives unexpectedly meeting each other, like you do at Turkish weddings.

The entertainment was lively and captivating throughout the day. Turkish pop star Selcuk Yapar and rock band Sudden Exit entertained the crowd during the afternoon session. The Ottoman Marching Band (Mehter Takımı) mesmerised with their show both on stage and as they marched around the Square, repeated three times during the course of the day. This was followed by a spectacular stage show by traditional Turkish folk dancers in their elegant and colourful costumes.

Crowds waited in anticipation till 7 pm for the top billing Can Bonomo – a popular rock and pop singer who was Turkey’s Eurovision entry in 2012. I must say he lived up to his reputation with an exhilarating performance that lasted for one-and-a-half hours. The crowd joined in the singing and dancing, waving Turkish and North Cyprus flags, really enjoying themselves.

It was a fabulous finale to a very enjoyable day for thousands of people who made the effort to be there. More than 30 stands were located all around the Trafalgar Square with a variety of food stalls offering a great choice of Turkish cuisine, awhile others sold Turkish trinkets or did face-painting – there really was something for everyone. 

I hope that this event continues to take place at this prestigious stage annually to promote Turkish culture, art, music and food.

Credit must go to the organisers and commercial companies who backed the initiative. Turkish Day in London was organised by Sky Management and Regalis Group, supported by the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Sponsors included Atlasjet, Anatolian Sky Holidays, the Acibadem Hospitals Group, İşbank, and the Turkish Tourism Office. 

Sunday 8 June 2014

Kebabs go into 'rehab' with innovative pop-up restaurant

Turkish Adana kebab before it goes into "rehab" at Roti Chai

A restaurant which has been instrumental in driving contemporary ideas around Indian food is hoping to do the same for Turkish cuisine. On Sunday 15 June, Rohit Chugh (ex-Cinnamon Club MD) is allowing Kebab Rehab to takeover the kitchen at his central London restaurant Roti Chai for a “modern mash up / collaboration” with Turkish food.

The brainchild of wine consultant and food writer Zeren Wilson, and Hulya Erdal, a Turkish chef, consultant and writer, their pop-up restaurant will explore the link between good Indian seekh kebabs and the Turkish Adana style kebab, aiming to create a fun marriage between the two. Dishes they will be serving on Sunday include:

  • Gulab Gulab:  signature Roti Chai cocktail with a distinct hint of Turkish delight
  • Içli Köfte Scotch Egg: with finely ground lamb, bulgur and quail egg
  • Duck Haleem: Hyderabadi stew with wheat and duck (rather than the traditional lamb)
  • Adana Kebab: traditional Turkish lamb kebab cooked on a skewer
  • Seekh Kebab: a venison and apple take on the classic Indian favourite

Hulya Erdal says Sunday’s menu is about, “The New Turks' – a modern mash up/collaboration kinda thing. Both Zeren and I are London born, with Turkish Cypriot parents. We will be offering kebabs with a twist: Indian influences and a fun Sunday lunch. Zeren's mum is coming so there'll be some genuine Turks of old. The emphasis is on good food, conviviality and sharing and breaking bread around the table.”
Zeren Wilson & Hulya Erdal behind the Kebab Rehab concept
Zeren Wilson added, “We hope this one-off event will be followed by more, covering everything from traditional lahmacun to modern homestyle Turkish. I really love lahmacun and have been singing its praises for years. I still can’t understand why Turks have not been doing this in central London? All the best lahmacun salons are in North London. It’s time to catapult lahmacun into the mainstream!”

According to Wilson, it seems Alan Yau, of Wagamama and Hakkasan fame, will be beating the Turks at their own game. Yau’s next culinary venture is said to be a Lahmacun and Pide salon, which he will be opening on a corner site on Shaftesbury Avenue,

Places for this Sunday’s Kebab Rehab lunch are limited and prior booking is advised. Cost is £30 per person. Email for booking details. ROTI CHAI is located at 3 Portman Mews South, London W1H 6AY