Oklava is a modern Turkish restaurant in Shoreditch serving creative Turkish-Cypriot cuisine. Oklava has been on our list for a while, since we watched Chef Selin Kiazim, on of the founders, cooking excellently on the Great British Menu. But then a couple of weeks ago I ran into their Instagram page and was inspired to reserved a table immediately.
Oklava has a contemporary laid-back vibe to it. Even the chefs in the open kitchen don’t seem rushed. The service is also very friendly and keen to help you with your order.
What we ordered
The dishes are small plates to share, which is perfect for us. Moreover, there was no pork on the menu so I knew Shiima and I could share every dish. We ordered Grilled Hellim, Whipped Feta Crostini, Courgette, Feta & Mint Fritters, and Grilled Chilli Chicken Wings from Snacks. Lahmacun from breads, and Swaledale Hogget and Seftali Kebab from larger plates.
All the snacks were delicious. The hellim – halloumi – was perfectly grilled and doused with right amount of subtly sweet honey. The crostini was a mouthful of creamy deliciousness. But the wings were the standout. The chilli marinade was rich with flavour and heat, making the wings very moreish.
The lahmacun resembles a very thin pizza, but we were advised to top it with the savoury salad provided and eat it like a wrap. We did, and really enjoyed it. Some of the salad fell out of my wrap and I enjoyed that as well.
The Seftali Kebab was really good. Shiima paid it the highest compliment by saying it reminded her of her mother’s cooking. I really enjoyed the beef kebab, especially with the somewhat spicy red onion salad.
I didn’t like the Swaledale Hogget. It’s undoubtedly a creative dish with a lot of elements, but I don’t think they worked together. The Hogget – lamb – wasn’t tender and lacked spice or seasoning. The lamb fat-garlic toast was decent, but not as indulgent as I was expecting.
I had my eye on the Kunefe, but it’s for 2 people and Shiima was stuffed. On another day I would’ve devoured it alone, but for some reason, I’m not quite sure why right now, I decided against it.
We really enjoyed our experience at Oklava. The Turkish-Cypriot cuisine was delicious (mostly), the service was awesome, and vibe was relaxing. We recommend primarily for a casual date. It’s also ideal for a first-rate dinner with a friend, colleague, or family. Small groups too (maximum 6). Oklava is relatively priced as well, but do remember the portions are small.
Dress Code: Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Seftali Kebab
Amen’s Star Dish: Grilled Chilli Chicken Wings
Price: £30-£40pp (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
74 Luke Street
London EC2A 4PY
Reserve at ResDairy,
Or call 020 7729 3032