We have been poked and prompted to go and check out Teras restaurant on Wood Street since it opened – but it’s only been open 8 days and there is such a stir, what are they doing!? We decided to go as soon as possible – which turned out to be ‘tired-on-a-Tuesday’ this week.
Bold branding on the front makes the place look like any other E17 kebab shop. However on entering we slipped back to the ocakbasi BBQ restaurants in Istanbul. The takeaway counter is dominant at the front, but beyond that it is a small, friendly local restaurant, beautifully decorated with lanterns imported directly from Turkey by the owners. This former cafe was owned by the same guy for 15 years until he retired and his family have transformed it into a Turkish BBQ restaurant.
Unfortunately they had run out of the red mullet barbunya pilaki, apparently it’s made daily and we missed out. We ordered a couple of hot meze instead – arnavut cigari (grilled liver with onions) and karides (prawns with peppers.) Both dishes were fresh and well cooked, the olives, fresh bread, homemade chilli and garlic sauces arrived without asking too. The sumac sprinkled around the prawns was astounding – I’ve read about this spice being an alternative to fresh lemons but never realized why until we tasted this – the owners import it fresh directly from Turkey in small batches and it was amazing!
For the mains we’d ordered, ali nazik – grilled chicken served on a bed of roasted aubergines with a yoghurt sauce, and sarma beyti – a spicy minced lamb kebab wrapped in bread and served sliced on chilli and yoghurt sauces with orzo rice – beautifully presented. We had to remind them about the salad which was our only criticism of the meal.
Teras is especially good value at the moment with a BYOB until they get a drinks license. We had 2 courses and a coffee each for less than £30. It’s lovely food, cooked freshly to order. The staff, of which there were many, were friendly and welcoming. The owners are new to the restaurant business and keen to build up a local following – with food this good it won’t be difficult. Verdict - a great new local Wood Street restaurant which transports you to a night out in Istanbul – while a lot cheaper than a trip on Easyjet, enjoy!
Teras Turkish BBQ Restaurant, 117 Wood Street, London, E17 3LL