The stretch of Hoe Street between Walthamstow Central station and Queen’s Road seems to be having a revival. First came the Chinese Uyghur noodles place; followed by coffee and waffle shop Bru, and then Indian teashop Chaiiwala. Finally last week the new Turkish restaurant, Wood Oven BBQ opened.
Wood Oven has a few local restaurants in South Woodford, Barking and Potters Bar. So when we were invited to try out their new Walthamstow venue, we quickly booked a table for Sunday lunch today. I think this caused some nerves in the kitchen as it’s early days – they’ve only been open a week. But today the food, decor and service was pretty much faultless.
Complementary homemade Cacik (yogurt and cucumber dip), chilli sauce, garlic yogurt sauce and a basket of delicious hot bread arrived first and were quickly scooped up. There’s the typical choice of hot and cold meze for around £5, but missing lahmacun or my personal favourite, Albanian-style liver (great on a cold winter’s night). We loved our starters: thick slices of grilled Halloumi cheese – soft rather than squeaky, and king prawns pan-fried with tomato, garlic and peppers, a tasty, well-priced and generous portion.
After a bit of a wait, we tucked into Lamb chops – a portion of 4 chops, with rice and salad (about £15), perfectly seasoned and cooked on the grill, but we got plate envy when we saw spicy chips and chops served at the next table. However, the real star of the show was the whole charcoal grilled Sea bass, served with roast baby potatoes and veg including asparagus. This was a delicious memory-evoking fish dish – reminded me of eating fresh grilled fish at the seafront restaurants in Fethiye.
The dessert menu is non-existent, just a choice of ice cream or baklava. We went for the homemade baklava – sweet and sticky pastries stuffed with pistachios. Lunch ended with the obligatory Turkish tea and coffee served with delicious, little lumps of nutty Turkish delight.
The decor is beautiful – all lamps and arty mosaics, the seating is comfy, and it all feels light, bright and sunny. The staff were friendly and helpful. The extensive drinks list covers most requirements, including Turkish wine and beer, with wines from about £15 a bottle. All in all, this is going to be a great addition to the Walthamstow restaurants and take-aways and I can see us becoming regulars.
Wood Oven BBQ restaurant, 328 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 0PX