Likya (Golders Green, London, UK)

Heading back towards the Golders Green tube station, we passed Likya, a pleasant Turkish ocakbasi restaurant just a few doors down the way. Like a lot of ocakbasi (“Grill”) restaurants, especially in London, Likya puts their large grill right up front, so as you walk by you are tempted by all the delicious meats and vegetables getting grilled up right in front of you. In this case, it was enough to get us to head right in.

Walking right in, we got to see a good assortment of the grilled items, including several different kebab, vegetables, and even a few different cheeses all grilling away. Getting seated in a rather pleasantly decorated dining room, the friendly staff members immediately recommended several items to start us off: cacik (a creamy garlic and cucumber in yoghurt dish) and kisir (a crushed wheat salad with hazelnut, mint, and herbs).

Served up with a generous basket of Turkish bread, and this was a very pleasant start to the meal: a light and fluffy bread with a nice crustiness, slathered with either some of the cacik or kisir, and I found myself warning myself not to fill up before my kebab arrived. The kisir in particular was a really nice combination of wheat, nut, and herb notes, one that I’ll have to try to recreate in my own kitchen at some point.

For my main course, I opted for the adana kofte: two generous skewers of spiced ground lamb served up with a small salad. I always enjoy this dish when done well: a good lamb, a nice chewy texture, some good spicing, and a really crisp texture from being properly grilled, this is pretty much everything I like about a good kebab and a good meatball combined. I think there’s a reason I always enjoy this dish (or the related Persian koobideh, which mostly varies in the spicing).

Overall, considering that our original goal in stopping in Golders Green was getting bagels, we were particularly fortunate to also find one of the more enjoyable Turkisk ocakbasi restaurants I’ve experienced in London. It’s definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.

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