Red Onion

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address: 133 Stockwell Road, SW9 9TN

tel: 020 7737 7577

This is a Turkish Grill and Restaurant which serves Halal. It also describes itself as a coffee shop and ice cream parlour. We really hadn’t noticed it until we went for a brisk Sunday walk past the Portuguese restaurants near the skateboard park. Although unprepossessing and relatively small at first glance, this is one of those restaurants that has a large back room with a very high ceiling. Given the number of balloons it is no doubt used for parties but it would be a bit impersonal for dining, particularly as we were the only ones eating in – the take-out trade was quite brisk however.

Decor consists of high and heavy wooden tables and solid wooden chairs. There are silver lamps over the counter where you order takeaway and the other wall is covered with silver doors and a long row of electrical sockets. We sat in the front part but as far away from the door as possible, given that it was one of the coldest nights of the year. The waitress put a fan heater next to us for which we were grateful. It gave us a good view of a tv screen with revolving photos bizarrely of kittens in cups before it moved on to capitals of the world and enabled us to test our general knowledge while we waited for our order.

This a classic Turkish food, or at least the version you get presented in London. The menu is divided into cold and hot starters, steak, charcoal grills, casseroles and specials including pide which is the traditional turkish pizza. Much of the menu had been crudely crossed out, including many of the more interesting items. So for a starter we chose Imam Bayildi, a staple and long time favourite, to test the cooking but they didn’t even have that. Consequently we stuck to mains and went for a Lamb Shish Iskender and an Adana Kofte. But before they arrived a bowl of warm bread and a large mixed salad (onions, red cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, …. the works) with a spicy tomato sauce and mint yogourt dressing in side bowls were presented. So we would almost certainly have over-ordered if we had included a starter.

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The Lamb Iskender has a base of chopped and probably fried bread, tomato and butter sauce with yogourt. A substantial portion and not at all part of a calorie controlled diet but was really good.ro04

The Adana Kofte was described as “chargrilled spicy minced lamb serviced with rice”. It’s like a long sausage and not the prettiest thing you’ve seen on a plate but it was tasty.ro05

They do not serve alcohol but are happy for you to nip across the road and buy a beer and bring it back. It was too cold for that so we ordered a bottle of water which turned out to be Turkish as well.. Although other on-line reviews we read after our visit suggested that this was a hit or miss affair, that was not our experience. We were served promptly, although we were their only customers so we really counted as a diversion.

Our meal (two large main meals, salad, bread and water) came to £20.48.

 

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