Sometimes you really need a kebab. We wanted the best Turkish kebab London has to offer, so we trekked to the other side of Town to get one. We were not disappointed.
From the outside Mangal 1 Ocakbasi looks a bit like yet another tatty ‘bab shop, but walk inside and there is a vast charcoal grill and truly epic quantities of meat on skewers ready to be put over the fire. There are tables so you can sit down and enjoy your kebabs, but the idea is to eat and leave without much dallying. This is the general idea of Ocakbasi food, it is stuff you eat whilst you are out not what you go out to eat.
They’ll give you some warm, fresh bread and it is a good idea to get some hummus to eat this with. At two pounds per portion you cannot go wrong with the Turkish pizzas as a starter. They are nicely spiced and quite meaty, with salad provided to wrap up in them. I’ll say at this point beware the pickles, they are the saltiest things in the universe.[image image_id=”2356″]Then you’ll want a kebab. We ordered an Adana Kofte (pictured front-most) and a lamb Beyti (in the background). The meat was pretty good quality, so much so that we welcomed it being just on the rare side of cooked. The kebabs were very well seasoned, in the Beyti especially which was studded with green bits of fresh chilli and coriander. That one was rather hot. They were both rather delicious.
Mangal 1 does not have an alcohol license, so you can take your own booze in. I’d go for beer (or cider) here rather than wine. OK, it is pretty undemanding food, but fast food has its place and good food fast food has a better place. Probably not worth the huge trek across Town on a regular basis, but well worth going to try the best that London can offer in this sphere of fun food.
Contact details: Mangal 1, 10 Arcola Street, E8 2DJ Tel: 020 7275 8981