Laz Camden (Turkish)
Laz Camden offers a fully Halal Turkish food menu in a warm and inviting setting.
The 70-seater restaurant, which includes a table or two for four outside, also houses a meze bar, but one that’s discreetly located away at the back.
Stylised portraits of some of Turkey’s most commemorated celebraties decorate the walls therein.
Along with arguably the country’s most famous literary figure, poet and playwright Nazim Hikmet, aficionados will also recognise musician Orhan Gencebay, and popular film actress Belgin Doruk.
With retractable drapes across the open ceiling window at the far end of the eatery, leathered tan seats, brickwork walls, black chairs and wooden tables, Laz Camden has bags of Turkish character.
This elaborate complimentary starter of a trio of goat’s cheese balls, a small bowl of sundried tomatoes and a few thin slices of crusty bread was generous.
While the creamy balls of mild goat’s cheese were sufficiently strong enough to mask the flavour of the three ingredients in which these were rolled in, the Sundried tomatoes were wet and pungent and perfect for dunking the bread in.
Aside from the Ayran, which was refreshingly salty, watery and yoghurty, the mocktails were quite underwhelming.
The Bellini, which is usually presented as a Aperitif, was more Mango syrup-cum-pulp in texture than anything else, lacking any real kick.
And while the Strawberry Daquiri was extremely sweet with a curious hint of bitterness to it, the Raspberry Mojito was well balanced and easily the most intriguing.
The chunks of aubergine in this attractive looking Patlican were soft, creamy and non-gooey, and went well with the sweetness of the vibrantly red tomato sauce and the sourness of the yoghurt. Quite delicious.
A good hummus is defined by its smooth consistency before anything else. Sadly, this was grainy!
And though the chickpea and tomato garnish added a touch of tang to things, the hummus itself was on the dry side.
The first thing to hit you with this well textured Quinoa Tabule was the mint, swiftly followed by the burst of sweetness from the fresh pomegranate seeds, and the saltiness of the feta cheese, while the crunch of the walnuts provided textural contrast.
Not a bad dish this, but nothing that’ll leave you reeling.
Mixed views followed this Biber Borani. While one Lion considered this as “nothing special”, the others appreciated the way in which the simple sprinkle of urfa powder added a touch of chilli to the subtly smoked red and green peppers, that were themselves well tempered by the sourness of the yoghurt.
Chewy in texture, these turned out to be quite moist.
And with a spicy-peppery flavour, these also had a most satisfying taste to them too.
Coupled with the onion and tomato salad, these treats were delightful to masticate on.
When you receive a plate of fritters, with a beautifully brown and crispy looking exterior, topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a fried green leaf, you’re hoping for something flavourful.
And while these certainly impressed texturally, being light and crispy, they didn’t meet our taste expectations.
Instead, it was all very subtle, or as one Lion put it, “bland”.
Interesting this! While the Hellim turned out to be rubbery, we certainly appreciated the delicious sweet honey drizzle that left a pleasant though peculiar anaseedy-onion like aftertaste.
For one, only the taste of the courgettes therein came through, and that too only just.
On the outside, however, the nigella seeds provided some of that onion flavour.
As for the Roquefort sauce, then this was grainy, insipid and brought nothing to the dish.
These tremendous lamb ribs were juicy and incredibly spiced; and with a charred exterior, the smokiness that came through was subtle and just right.
As to the pearl barley risotto in this Kuzu Kaburga, then we weren’t entirely convinced that this starchy side, which was heavy with an almost mashed potato like consistency, was a complimentary accompaniment.
Similarly, the small yoghurt pot was sour and didn’t really add much to the dish.
In our collective opinion, a well conceived sauce that would work to enhance the flavour of the lamb, along with perhaps some rice, would be far better.
Alas, this House Special dish split the crowd.
Although the marinated fillet of beef was succulent and tender with a satisfyingly strong meaty flavour, we felt that the ratio of tomato to yoghurt as a base wasn’t quite right.
For one, we were all agreed that the tomato sauce failed to sufficiently counter the sourness of the strained yoghurt. And though the combo of the two was pleasant enough when had in the right quantity – the sweetness of the tomato ending in a light tangy mouthful – the overall balance of the dish wasn’t quite there.
Having partially soaked up the tomato sauce in which they rested, the little croutones were a nice touch. with the potato matchsticks working as a garnish more than anything else.
This meat platter essentially revolved around the notion of subtlety; hence, the lamb chop was lightly marinated, soft, juicy and decently charred. And though the pair of dainty chicken and adana kofta skewers were soft and succulent, the former was barely marinated while the latter lightly so and with a sweet undertone.
The parsley and red onion salad was a good accompaniment though.
All in all, well cooked selection of meats that you’d just as easily find at a decent Turkish joint and for far less too!
This certainly looked the part with its red, white and green makeup.
The Pazi Dolmasi was essentially the same yoghurt and tomato sauce pairing as had with the Cokertme. In this case, however, the slight bitterness of the swiss chard helped to counter the sourness of the yoghurt far better than its counterpart. The ground lamb and rice, however, did seem underseasoned.
A decent enough dish.
The Feber Baligi was easily the dish of the review!
What we had here was a lightly seasoned and perfectly pan fried monkfish that was rich in flavour and utterly soft. The gentle heat of the pepper, which came through at the end, was a great touch particularly when had with the sweet butteriness of the softly textured basil mash.
A delightful dish from start to finish. RECOMMENDED!
In spite of this vegetarian stew being smartly presented in a large wooden container, it ultimately lacked any real depth of flavour.
And the fact that the wheat dumplings were dense and doughy didn’t help either. It’s true that the chickpeas were soft, but the only thing that really materialised in this pot was a hint of the Urfa chilli.
Now this was a stunning dessert and utterly different to what we’ve had at other Turkish eateries.
The star of this smartly presented Tirilice was, of course, the soft and delicate sponge in the middle. This was beautifully saturated in milk and covered in a subtly sweet caramel glaze that was well tempered by the sharp sweetness of the raspberry sauce and droplets decorating its circumference.
A gorgeous and well balanced dessert.
Not exactly fresh! Consequently, these ultra-cold Tahini Profiteroles were a little dry, overly sweet, and unremarkable.
While this Turkish Delight Cheesecake was a little dense, its composition wasn’t all that bad, with the chocolate base and white chocolate topping being well countered by the sharp cherry sauce poured over the top.
The blowtorched sugary-cum-crunchy top sprinkled with crushed nuts worked well against the relatively smooth, though fairly cold, milky rice underneath.
A decent dessert where the slight bitterness of the burned top left a weird smoky aftertaste.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- 10% OFF TAKE AWAY
It's apparent though that some of the dishes we had were a little underwhelming.
There's no denying, however, that Laz Camden is attempting, through both its food and decor, to elevate Turkish cuisine above the ordinary and, thus, stand out from the crowd.
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