When the days are short, dark and cold and I’m dreaming of sunny beaches, a quick holiday in Turkey would be perfect. And the next best thing is a weekend Turkish breakfast in Green Lanes.
A few stops along the Overground train from Walthamstow Queens Road and we arrived on Saturday in search of Kahvalti – a breakfast feast!
I love Green Lanes – all the Turkish barbers, grocers, and bakers. After wandering with no real plan or place in mind, we opted for a small family-style cafe rather than one of the larger well-known restaurants. There was the obligatory Gozleme pancake maker in the front window, but also plates of Icli kofte (stuffed meat balls) and Sarma (stuffed vine leaf rolls).
Taksim Cafe turned out to be a friendly, local gem, with a beautiful indoor garden feel to the decor. We were easily talked into the full Turkish breakfast but there we plenty of other options including veggie etc.
Our table was quickly laden with a feast! Hot spicy lamb Gozleme – one of the best I’ve ever tasted. A plate of grilled hellim (halloumi) cheese, spicy sucuk beef sausage slices, crispy feta cheese borek, fried mushrooms and 2 fried eggs served on a plate of chips.
A traditional cold plate with tomatoes, rocket, cucumber and 3 more cheeses, black olives and cold salami.
And finally a basket of hot pide bread chunks to mop-up jam, honey, rich kaymak – like a sourish clotted cream, and tahini pekmez – a sticky sweet mix of sesame paste and grapes molasses. We were in heaven.
We ordered a green smoothie and a freshly squeezed orange juice (£3.50 each charged extra but well worth it). And the breakfast was served with complimentary Turkish or English tea or coffee. So we just sat for a couple of hours slowly grazing and chatting, feeling a million miles from home. A beautiful breakfast for 2 for only £20.
Taksim Cafe, 423 Green Lanes, Harringay, London, N14 1EY. Open daily 7am to 9pm.