Update: This place is now closed.
Its amazing how many times I have walked past this place. Urfa Ocakbasi restaurant which is located at 18-20 St James Street Walthamstow has been there for several years. Previously it was also a Turkish restaurant or eatery of some sort, prior to that, I believe it was a private Islamic School for young children and then even earlier than that, a Barclays Bank (which I used to remember banking at).
Anyway, I digress, the purpose of this post was to highlight the food that I purchased. I have been casually ignoring this eatery for many years now, not because I wanted to but probably because I didn’t think it appealed to me and probably because I had actually become blind to it, almost similar to ‘ad blindness’ in the advertising industry. Being a fan of ‘Anatolia’ across the border in Leyton, Hazef in South Quay Docklands and also Crystals on Holloway Road, I’m no stranger when it comes to Turkish Cuisine.
In fact, my intention wasn’t even to visit the restaurant as I was happily going about my business trying to do some household chores.
When you walk in, you are immediately impressed with the sheer size of this place. It is very spacious and you certainly don’t feel claustrophobic. The decor and is very tastefully done and as you’d expect, it all looks rather Turkish. Lots of lucky charms, beads and the whole nine yards but without looking tacky.
At the front of the restaurant there is an open grill where you can watch the chef grilling your selection of kebabs and various other foods. At the back of the shop, there is a bar, although it seemed closed when I visited (during lunch hours).
So what did I order? I fancied eating a Chicken Kofte kebab which is my usual choice of food but sadly they were out of them. Being quite disappointed, I saw this as an opportunity and opted for the Adana kebab…..and that’s where any disappointment I did have went flying out of the window!
It was served with rice, grilled Turkish bread which was absolutely lovely as well as fries (sorry, had to be a bit awkward ordering these). Service was quick since there weren’t many people there and staff were also very pleasant.
Eventually when I got home with my takeaway food I was very impressed. The food was still quite hot and tasted absolutely exquisite. One can only imagine what it is like when you are actually sitting inside the restaurant. The aroma of char-grilled green peppers on top of the kebabs was fantastic and I can easily recall that right now as I type this at 2.30am!
Price wise, an Adana Kebab and fries for £11 isn’t exactly cheap, however, the quality of the food and all the additional extras such as an impressive salad and bread speak for themselves. You know what they say about peanuts and monkeys!!!
Can’t believe I’ve never tried out this gem before. Next time, it will be a longer visit and dining inside with a few more members of the family I would definitely recommend this place.
Have you been here and what was your food and experience like?
For more information, the restaurant is located at;