One of my trusty places to eat at is Grand Bazaar. I found this place on a dinner out with friends and since the first time I ate here, I have been going back again and again. Tucked away in a busy “food street” on St. Christopher’s Place behind Bond Street, you wouldn’t think there would be any restaurants behind the crazy shopping district of London but you would be pleasantly surprised!
From the outside it looks just like any other restaurant: tables lined outside, a menu showing off the food and some greeters asking you to come in. The moment you enter inside, you are taken to another place. No matter what the weather is outside, the ceiling inside is beautifully adorned with at least 50 lanterns of all shapes, sizes, designs and colours. I swear they increase in number every time I visit!!
Grand Bazaar, although the name does not give it away, is a lovely Turkish restaurant. The food they serve is hearty, good quality and quantity! Their dishes are typical Turkish (as far as pleasing the London palette is concerned!) with dishes ranging from lamb fillets soaked in tomato based sauce and yogurt to scrumptious lamb shank falling off the bone served with rice and potatoes. Each dish has its own character. The last time I went there was around Christmas and as you can tell from the decorations, it was quite a festive mood there.
What I did find is they keep on experimenting with the way they present their food and the portions. Nonetheless I have always enjoyed my experience here. They have a special menu during lunch time that includes a starter and main and it goes till 5PM I believe. It is great for a birthday party (had mine year before the last!) or a cosy dinner. I find it nice especially in winters where you want to shut out the cold and enjoy a nice hearty lunch or dinner.
My staple starter I order here EVERY single time is their “Balloon Bread”. It really is filled like a balloon and it is placed on the table piping hot and the moment you break a piece, all the hot air fizzles out (keep your fingers away from it!) leaving a thin and crispy bread. Order humus or mint based dipping sauce on the side- goes well with either.
One of my favourite mains is “Incik” which is lamb knuckle cooked till the meat is almost falling off the bone along with vegetables like green and red pepper and potatoes served with steamed rice. The portion is big enough for two people to share. Unless your appetite is humungous!
They also have a selection of mixed grill dishes, shish kofte and Turkish Pide (or Pizza). I am not a fan of their fish dishes as the last fish dish I had was actually the LAST one. It was bland and tasteless plus I had to pick out bones in every second bite which was extremely annoying. The spicy salsa that I added on top didn’t do much for the taste buds either. I do not know if they have improved it or it’s still the same but I never bothered to try it out again and stuck to the regular dishes I always had. It’s a case of once bitten, twice shy!
Another one of their specialities is Iskender. It’s fillets of lamb soaked in tomato based sauce with yogurt on a bed of pita bread. The texture is crunchy, chewy and soft- all in one. The yogurt and tomato combo gives it a nice balance. You should definitely try it once to see whether it suits your taste buds. I’ve had it a couple of times and again a dish that can be shared between two people.
You can check out their website for more information, menu and where they are located. Click here to be redirected to their website.
Have a browse through the photos and perhaps plan your next food exploration there?
Turkish Pide (Pizza)
Till the next foodie adventure folks!! xx