Tarshish (Turkish Mediterranean) – Wood Green, London

bardo Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal FoodDon’t look up and you’ll miss it!

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.

Award Best kebab Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

British Kebab Awards 2017 – Best Newcomer Restaurant/ Takeaway in London

DRINKS

drink mocktails Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Green Jacket (left) – Cucumber, fresh mint, kiwi, mango and apple juice. Simple syrup and lemon juice
Berry Crush (right) – Fresh strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrant and pomegranate seeds with lemonade and simple syrup – £6.00 each

drink Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal FoodWhile these mocktails were decent to good, the single biggest shortcoming, in our collective opinion, was the proportion of ice to beverage, with at least 60% ice, if not more.

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.

drinks mocktails Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Still Virgin Mojito (left) – Soda water, fresh mint, apple and lime juice
The Sollero (middle) – Passion fruit juice, passion fruit purée, a touch of grenadine, double cream and simple syrup
Bee Sting (right) – £6.00 each

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.

meza Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Hot & Cold Meze – Isn’t that a picture?

HOT MEZE

Garlic MushroomsSujukKing Prawns Börek
Garlic Mushrooms / 6 (V) Pan fried, cooked with cream and garlic sauce and garnish with parmesan

Garlic Mushrooms (V) – Pan fried, cooked with cream and garlic sauce and garnished with parmesan, £6.00

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 – Spicy Turkish sausage cooked in a tomato, mushroom and basil sauce, £7.00

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.

King Prawns / 8.5 Diced tomato, mixed peppers, spicy red pepper flakes, parsley, onion and olive oil

King Prawns – Diced tomato, mixed peppers, spicy red pepperflakes, parsley, onion and olive oil, £8.50

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.

Börek (V) – Filo pastry filled with feta cheese, spinach and pine nuts, £6.00

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.

COLD MEZE

Mixed Meze / Small 10 / Large 16 (V) Baba ganoush, Patlican Soslu, Tabbouleh, Hummus, Cacik (Tzatziki) and Spinach Tarator Served with warm bread

Large Mixed Meze (V) – Red Hummus (£5.00), Cacik (Tzatziki) (£5.00), Patlican Soslu (£6.00), Baba Ganoush (£6.00), Tabbouleh, and Spinach Tarator served with warm bread – Small £10.00 & Large £16.00

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.

GRILL

Award Best kebab Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Lamb Shish – Marinated cubes of lamb served with mac & cheese, garnished with tomato salad and red cabbage coleslaw, £20.00

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.

Award Best kebab Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Adana Shish – (Chef ’s Special) Grilled spicy mined lamb served with mac & cheese,garnished with tomato salad and red cabbage coleslaw, £16.50

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.

SPECIALS

Wagyu Sirloin Steak – Served with mashed potato, cherry tomatoes and creamy mushroom sauce, £38.00

Although a good quality steak, it wasn’t quite the melt-in-your-mouth wagyu steak we were hoping for (though hardly surprising given the price and portion size).

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.

However, what it wasn’t was well rested, resulting in it having bled across the plate.

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.

lamb shank Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Braised Lamb Shank – Slow braised lamb shank on the bone. Served with mashed potato, £18.00

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.

Iskender Kebab – A combination of lamb, chicken and adana shish, served on a bed of croutons. Finished with halep sauce, paprika butter and yogurt, £19 (with rice £3.00)

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.

DESSERTS

dessert Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Chocolate Volcano – A hot chocolate brownie filled with melted hot chocolate. Served with ice cream and garnished with fresh berries, £7.00

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.

dessert Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Warm Baklava – An iconic traditional dessert made from layers of filo pastry and chopped nuts. Served with ice cream, £7.50

With a crispy top, this chewy ice cream-cum-baklava sandwich had a toffee like taste to it; but nothing more.

dessert Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Pear Drop – A poached pear, cooked in home-made syrup. Served with cinnamon ice cream, £7.00

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.

dessert Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Food

Crème Brûlée – Break into the crunchy caramelised top to discover a smooth rich custard inside, £7.50

dessert Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal Fooddessert Tarshish Turkish Wood Green Halal FoodOther than the theatrics, this Crème Brûlée was a bit of a let down.

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.

THE ROAR
Tarshish
3.5 FTL's Roar
4.5 Pride's Roar (2 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • DISABLED
Summary
Having won this year's British Kebab Awards Best Newcomer Restaurant/ Takeaway in London, we were expecting nothing, but top quality kebabs from Tarshish.

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.

Menu Recommendation

Drinks - Bee Sting

Cold Meze - Tabbouleh

Hot Meze - Börek

Grill - Adana Shish

Specials - Iskender Kebab

Desserts - Pear Drop

FOOD
PRICE
ATMOSPHERE
SERVICE
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Tarshish
16-20 High Rd, Wood Green,
London N22 6BX.

T: +44 (0)20 8881 6479 | W: tarshish.co.uk | E: info@tarshish.co.uk

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 17:00-00:30 | Sat-Sun 12:00-00:30

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