With the dreaded 25th birthday around the corner, I’ve been slathering on my anti-aging products to ensure that my face doesn’t become plagued with even more wrinkles (believe me, it was a devastating day in my household when I got my first). And it was just the other day, whilst applying my eye cream, that it hit me how much life has changed.
Those friends who you would see at least twice or thrice a week, are now friends who you sadly only meet up with once a month now, and the uncles and aunties who would scold you at family get togethers are aging before your eyes. Feeling a little sad, I called up one of my dearest friends, JA, who I hadn’t seen in awhile and organised a lunch date.
In the mood for comfort food, I thought we could catch up over some Turkish pides over at Pide Oven in Charlotte Street. The place was packed full of people, so we ordered and luckily, found a space for two.
This was my first time trying out lahmacun, a popular Turkish flatbread that reminds me of pizza but without the cheese. The turkey mince had been scattered on top of a tomato, pepper, and parsley sauce and placed in the fire oven until cooked. It was easy to tear and share, without making a mess, and although the turkey mince was quite subtle in flavour in comparison to the tomato-based spread, the lahmacun was enjoyable to eat.
Strangely, this was very similar in taste to the turkey lahmacun, just the pide version. The minced leg of lamb had been cooked with the same pepper and tomato sauce as the lahmacun, and topped with a few creamy feta cheese blobs and a generous helping of coriander. More lamb mince and feta cheese would have really rounded the pide off nicely, as the tomato base was quite overpowering and it was hard to pinpoint other flavours.
A pide topped with roast chicken, halloumi, and a drizzle of honey. This was my least favourite of the pides; the chicken shreds were quite bland and needed a good seasoning in order to stand out, plus more honey would have been nice to balance out the salty halloumi.
This was definitely the best pide of the lot and I ordered it for takeaway. Sure, it could have done with some more of the lovely beef sujuk, as opposed to the four small pieces they had sprinkled on top. But, the pide was not too heavy, and the squidgy, salty halloumi, and the mild-flavoured kasar cheese made a good gooey contrast to each other.
The double-jointed chicken wings seemed to have been grilled, and then tossed with a sea-salt and lemon seasoning. The salty, lemony crust was nice, but the chicken wings were still quite bland and seemed a little flabby as opposed to deliciously crispy.
The total bill amounted to around £33 for three people (I took leftovers and an extra pide home for BW) so £11 each, which is great considering we over-ordered. Pide Oven is a good option if you’re working close by or even if you’re passing through Oxford Street, but a place I would return to only if I was in the area and in the search for halal food. Although the food was mostly enjoyable, I felt they held back on how much of their toppings they put on the pides and even on how long they would place their food in the oven for.
Having said that, I did visit during the lunch rush so they were extremely busy dishing out pide after pide for workers in the area. If you are planning on a trip to their store, I suggest visiting after 2pm to avoid peak lunch hour, or alternatively order for takeaway if you need to get back to your desk.
|Address||45 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 1RU|
|Telephone||020 7637 8635|
|Parking||Difficult but available on surrounding streets with pay and display|
- Food - 6/106/10
- Service - 6/106/10
- Atmosphere - 6/106/10
– Halal status verified by Muslim owner
– No pork or alcohol present
– This is a child friendly establishment