Cuisine: European, Turkish
Price Point: Mains from £10-£20
Since 1972 Pasha, on Islington’s humming Upper Street, has been a byword for excellent Turkish cuisine. Known as much for its warm, discreet service as the mouthwatering mezze which has been flowing out of its kitchen for well over thirty years, it is a favourite with eminent local politicians, homesick expats looking for the food they remember from their childhoods and a loyal crowd of locals.
The interiors are an exotic dream of olive green leather banquettes, colourful silks and polished marble, and the food is equally attractive. Think fragrant tabbouleh studded with jewels of pomegranate, fattoush salad gleaming with lemon and sumac dressing and crispy cubes of lamb presented on a bed of smoked aubergine with a swoop of yoghurt dressing.
The meat is sourced from farms known for their ethical practices and is fantastically tender and full of flavour as a result. Disclaimer - the succulent lamb shish alongside tangy red cabbage pickle will put you off fast food kebabs for good. In the mood for something sweet? Try a grainy Turkish coffee alongside a tasting plate of homemade Turkish pastries.