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

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