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Nov 26, 2007 12:57 PM

Best London Ocakbasi / Kebabs?

I was just reading the news from a previous post that Mangal on Arcola St in Dalston has been subject to a "shake-up" -- definitely sad news, but apparently the chefs have resurfaced in buckhurst hill. That leads me, as a new poster, to ask a few general questions:

1) What is the best Turkish grill meat (ocakbasi) restaurant in London?

2) What is the best kebab house in London?

3) Chowhound is generally an American internet forum (I assume most posters here are American expats) -- what is the UK equivalent?

Many thanks -- really enjoy reading everyone's opinions.

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  1. "Chowhound is generally an American internet forum (I assume most posters here are American expats) -- what is the UK equivalent?"

    im sure you didnt mean to be offensive - but you were!

    if you check out the boards around 2000, you'll see that the american ex-pat chowhounds generally raised the tone and awareness of all things chow by a factor of about a billion. think of it as a sort of marshall plan.

    till we got here, people were still raving about maggie jones, club gascon etc. this is THE uk equivalent. read a few posts and you'll get the drift.

    1. For awhile, I also read the British section of EGullet. I soon tired of the 'attitude' there and find Chowhound (which I also used a lot in the States) to be more to my liking.

      There is a very good Turkish grill place up near FInchley Central Tube stop. I don't know the name but it's just a block or two north. It's a bit out of the way, and I'm sure there are others closer to central London if need be.

      1. There are two large concentrations of Ocakbasi restaurants in North London and a few smaller ones. Up in Haringey, there is a half mile stretch of Green Lanes north of Finsbury Park. Its also a great place by the way, to buy very high quality fruit and vegetables and pastries.

        To my mind, there is one place that seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest and that is the Bingol Ocakbasi. It is on the left going north kind of opposite that large Victorian pub, the name of which I forget.

        What I love about this place, apart from the food, is the grill-master who sits on his swivel chair presiding over the kebabs (and the amazingly fresh fish) with the utmost seriousness and attention. You just sense that he loves what he is doing.

        They also do great soups and stews.

        1. Crystal Kebab on Holloway Road. Went for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Open 22 hours a day. Their rotating meat is not the overly processed looking can actually make out the meat. They dont' serve the kebabs in pitas, but rather rolled flat bread. Good stuff.

          It's also a slice of life up around that stretch. I had a pretty enjoyable time talking with the regulars and people-watching.