Oklava Bakery + Wine, London W1: restaurant review
Try fudgy date butter, lamb crackling buns and Georgian orange wine at this all-day Turkish eatery
Looking for restaurants in Fitzrovia? Read our review of Oklava Bakery + Wine, or check out our Fitzrovia foodie guide here.
Oklava Bakery + Wine in a nutshell
Modern Turkish sharing plates and baked goods in Fitzrovia.
Chef-patron Selin Kiazim and business partner Laura Christie have turned their Anatolian-inspired restaurant Kyseri into a new bakery and restaurant concept.
What's the vibe?
The narrow, compact space keeps things simple – with marble table tops, herringbone wooden floors, exposed brick, rich blue walls, pendant lamps and a striking circular statement mirror. Service is friendly, just the right amount of attentive and knowledgeable.
What's the food like at Oklava Bakery + Wine?
The new lunch and dinner offering keeps it simple with sharing plates that still offer plenty of variety, from three different feta dishes (featuring cheese from north London’s Kupros Dairy) to mücver (potato, pastirma – cured beef – and cheese fritters), muhamarra (red pepper dip) on toast, filled pide flatbreads and fried halloumi with local honey. Selin has also included popular elements from Kyseri and her Shoreditch site, Oklava – including an addictive medjool date butter and a daily-changing manti (Turkish filled dumplings) dish. While there are a few larger plates – such as spiced kofte with beef-fat onions – it’s a menu best for grazing and snacking.
Start with that luscious, almost fudgy date butter, and silky tarama (smoked cod’s roe), smeared over house-baked baharat-spiced sourdough, pide and olive breads. A block of creamy sheep’s milk feta is draped with a tumbling trail of winter leaves and crunchy walnuts dressed with tahini, while a bronzed bun filled with lamb crackling is as lick-your-plate-clean delicious as it sounds. Kumru sandwich is a Turkish take on a toastie – an oval sesame-seed-speckled toasted bread with sujuk sausage and grilled cheese. It’s a must order.
And the drinks?
Wine expert Laura has put together an intriguing list of Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean bottles from small producers (impressively all available by the glass, and to take away for a reduced price), from a creamy Turkish chardonnay to a funky, scrumpy-like Georgian orange number. Sweet Arcadia sauvignon blanc dessert wine, with its sprightly acidity, is a particularly nice way to end a meal. Elsewhere, cocktails include sumac and pomegranate martinis, and Greek vermouth negronis, as well as Efes beer and homemade Turkish lemonade.
Visit in the morning and on weekends to discover a counter crowded with Turkish-Cypriot pastries inspired by Selin’s family recipes, from doughnut-like rhubarb and cardamom poğaça to sesame-topped simit bread and pilavuna pastries with cheese, mint and sultanas. Breakfast and brunch dishes are equally impressive – see what we thought here.
Photographs by Stephanie de Goeijen and Clerkenwell Boy