Tarshish (Turkish Mediterranean) – Wood Green, London
That’s right; located above a clothing store and accessible only via a side road entrance, you may, in spite of your Satnav, drive right past Tarshish if you’re not looking up.
With a whopping capacity of 500, comfortably spread across two spacious and lavishly decorated floors of 250 seats each, this Turkish and Mediterranean eatery, which only opened last year, was recently awarded the 2017’s British Kebab Awards for Best Newcomer Restaurant/ Takeaway in London.
With a dark colour scheme of blacks and greys, including grey-tiled flooring throughout, Tarshish is a chic, modern restaurant which offers more than enough room for a large, centrally-located alcohol bar on the second floor not to adversely affect the mellow and moody ambience of the place.
Tarshish represents east meeting west in a marriage of modern aesthetics with traditional sentiments.
In any case, the Berry Crush was a nice, fresh-tasting mixture of bits and berries, while the kiwi in the Green Jacket came through subtly with not much else.
And though we didn’t pick up on the sourness of the lemon or any mango sweetness, it seemed to taste of melon more than anything else.
Grenadine was certainly the dominant flavour in The Sollero. Sweet and creamy, this particular one tended to grow on us with each passing sip. A new taste sensation for sure.
The lime was partially countered by the mint in the Still Virgin Mojito, though not enough to mask the sharp aftertaste. The raw addition of sugar was also present. In the end, this was a refreshing one “loved” by at least one Lion.
The Bee Sting was arguably the best of the lot, with an intense fruity taste that delivered those surprising bursts of sharp tanginess courtesy of the passionfruit seeds therein. An extremely addictive one this.
Ultimately, however, these drinks were more slushies than mocktails.
It was the generous addition of pepper, with that pleasant aftertaste of heat, and the way in which it worked against the mildly sweet garlic-infused sauce, that we enjoyed and appreciated.
With soft morsals of mushrooms sprinkled with Turkish parmesan cheese, we thoroughly enjoyed the dish.
Sujuk fans won’t be disappointed with this one. While the spiced sausages were firm yet flavourful, the sourness of the standard pomegranate vinaigrette used to dress the accompanying salad leaves, helped to dampen the heat generated by the delicately-spiced tomato sauce.
Careful though; the heat does build up, albeit slowly.
These are how King Prawns ought to be cooked – as soft as you like with just the hint of a bite. These were marinated and surrounded by a melody of soft green, yellow and red peppers, diced onions, tomatoes, and a seemingly subtly-infused oily base. A nice little dish that required a squeeze of the lemon to add that touch of acidity.
What made these Börek so delightful was the simple, yet intriguing contrast of textures and flavours. When you have an ultra-crispy pastry that’s filled with a creamy feta cheese, crunchy pine nut and spinach combo, you’re guaranteed a satisfying munch. Couple that with a sauce that’s more sweet than citrusy, and what you have are some delicious samosas.
What’s certain about this mixed meze was that it was way above average.
The Red Hummus, though grainy in texture, was different, with a good taste which, thanks to the roasted red peppers, bordered on the slightly sweet.
The familiar earthy taste of the Spinach Tarator was nicely offset by the sweetness of the grated carrots and the yoghurty-garlic base.
But the Tabbouleh was one of the best we’ve ever had. Despite loads going on, including a citrusy-sweet dressing for the tomatoes that worked so well against the sweetess of the pomegranate seeds, it was well balanced, and left us polishing the plate clean.
One Lion also considered the Baba Ganoush to be one of the best he’d had, with an “amazing texture”. Typically smooth and gooey, what we enjoyed about this was the subtle charred-BBQ aftertaste.
As for the Patlican Soslu, then the soft aubergines, crunchy green peppers, and light oily tomato base, ensured a fresh plate that wasn’t too bad.
Lastly, the Cacik was your standard, good quality Cacik made up of sour yoghurt and cucumber.
The quality of this perfectly seasoned and expertly cooked Lamb Shish was obvious. Soft and succulent on the inside, and with a tender chewy bite, it was immediately obvious why they’d won said award.
What’s more, the incredibly creamy Mac & Cheese accompaniment was superb in the way in which its sweet cheesy taste worked against the crunchy and equally creamly red cabbage slaw.
This Adana Shish was another beautifully cooked kebab. It had the most wonderfully crispy charred exterior, while at the same time managing to retain the soft, tender interior of a perfectly made Adana Shish.
What made this particular one different was that it wasn’t as plain as many others we’ve had, but sufficiently spiced, with the strong flavours of the pepper spice coming through really well.
In any case, for what it was, it was presented medium-well, was well seasoned, and thus a tasty piece that was both chewy and fatty in places.
And the side of mash wasn’t very good either, being, as it was, grainy and a tad on the dry side.
In addition, the mushroom sauce simply didn’t have that depth of flavour one woudl expect of a well made one.
In all, the entire dish was a fairly underwhelming one.
No doubt this Braised Lamb Shank was “cooked up to four hours”.
Absolutely tender to the core, with a vibrant tomato and mixed vegetable sauce that had bags of flavour. While the sauce delivered on heat, the carrots were soft, and the bed of mash decent without being overly soft.
Again the quality of the meat was excellent.
And what made this Iskender Kebab stand out from the crowd was the interesting assortment of textures and flavours going on.
While the lamb was soft, with just the right amount of chew, and the chicken tender and beautifully cooked, it was the succulent adana kofte that stole the show. Covered in a rich, garlic and tangy tomato sauce and topped with a dollop of creamy sour yoghurt, the entire dish, had with the buttery rice, made for an absolutely delicious meal.
This Chocolate Volcano seemed to have been simply warmed through. Consequently, the brownie was dense and stodgy.
And while the ice cream was decent, lazily drizzling chocolate sauce over the top before throwing a handful of white chocolate discs hither, was never going to rescue this. At best, an average dessert.
With a crispy top, this chewy ice cream-cum-baklava sandwich had a toffee like taste to it; but nothing more.
And while the presentation of this hastily constructed Pear Drop left much to be desired, it was certainly the best of the desserts in terms of flavours.
The warm poached pear was soft and juicy, and went well with the smooth, cinnamon flavoured ice cream. With a generous addition of crushed pistachio and what seemed like glazed walnuts, this dessert delivered on texture too.
Seeing a blow torch caramelise the top couldn’t quite mask the fact that this was premade.
As a result, rather than breaking into the top to “discover a smooth rich custard”, we were met with more of a cold, firm one.
The top, of course, did have the customary crunch you’d expect; and with it being fairly light and not overly sweet, this would certainly be a good choice after a heavy meal.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
We're happy to conclude that that's precisely what we got.
As a Turkish and Mediterranean Grill, however, they also offer a whole lot more. With an extensive menu list, the dishes we had the pleasure of trying ranged from the average, such as the desserts, to the extremely good.
All in all, Tarshish is a large, spacious and modern restaurant that definitely demands a visit, particularly if you enjoy outstanding kebabs and cold mezes.
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