I feel sorry for Yeni, in London’s Soho. But in the same way that I understand the struggle of the Basque separatist group ETA, while refraining from supporting their cause.
You see, Yeni opened in January 2019. She spent the next few months trying to establish herself, got snubbed by some weird reviewer, then that happened.
So now that it’s all over, Yeni is waving for attention. But given her flaws, she’s like Whac-A-Mole. Above appears and is hit. So she looks, here I am approaching, she appears. And he is hit again.
There are several things that could stop people like me from kicking this grain of sand, and as Turkish cuisine is one of the most glorious and shared on the planet, there should be hope.
Although something that they will not nail is the decoration, which seems to have no logic. The street façade is a striking deep blue. But the color bears no relation to the interior decoration, which is a combination of a dark mud brown ceiling, light whitewashed brick walls, yellow tiled tables, and a cream white painted bar decorated with blue tiles against a black and white background. -white burst Then there are the large pendant lights that look like chandeliers with glowing balls instead of feet. Less fancy Turkish mezze menze, more cruise buffet.
Since this place is Turkish and I am an adventurer, my attention was drawn to the Turkish wines on the white list, of which there were four or five, among others from Greece, Spain, Italy and France, some of which I was familiar with. with. So I asked our waiter, one of two (and the perfect number to serve the six or more people who dined that lunch). But he had no idea about them (his knowledge of Turkish wine was on a par with his charm), so he went to ask the chef. They were quite nice and we had a few by the glass.
We started with an innocuous ‘spicy carrot’ – curly carrot with a hint of spice served with heavy tava breads (think concrete folded naan) that came in a nice rustic looking metal tin lined with paper.
We then had meatballs that come in double fermented yogurt. I’m highlighting this double fermentation because I know you think it’s what we should all be talking about. On buses, on the subway. Push push. Have you heard? Yes. Not once, not three times, but twice.
It’s actually a very rich and appetizing sauce for the meatballs, but while I commend the taste, the chef splashes the dishes with green and red oils, and the effect is, as the meatballs bob in the liquid, like a farm accident after a heavy downpour.
A plate of eggplant with Colston Bassett stilton, figs and smoked almonds was the kind of thing students with munchies make at 4am: an oily, cheesy mush of jarring flavor and texture. You may laugh the next day, but you don’t ask for a bank loan or stake your reputation on it.
The slow cooked Welsh lamb was far better with that rustic, earthy tear/share quality. It was charred and tender, and looked pretty gorgeous on a battered tin plate, so I forgave them for the puddle of oil it sat in.
But the pudding was really painful. The sütlaç (rice pudding) was covered in spun sugar and had that unnerving effect of looking like strands of white-blond hair and the feel of a glass in your mouth.
Yeni, mischievous mole. You know you can do better than this.