LONDON | Tad is a Turkish restaurant in Hackney where owner Suleyman Ulu and his family prepare a range of traditional Middle Eastern “soul” food dishes. Situated near the north end of Mare Street in Hackney, the restaurant is spacious, seating ample and well suited to large groups and sharing. The fit out of the restaurant is very minimalist, with the focus on the Ocakbasi (charcoal grill), which allows diners to watch all the dishes being prepared and cooked to order.
The menu is extensive with options salads, soups, and of course grilled meat, fish, and vegetables. When we visited, we started with the lahmacun (Turkish pizza, £3.20) which features a freshly baked crispy thin base topped with a sprinkling of minced lamb, onion, and mixed spices. The simple, balanced flavours provided a great start to our meal. There’s always the option of a mixed meze platter if you want a variety of starters.
Moving onto something more substantial, you can’t go past Tad’s signature mixed kebab. It’s great value at £28.90 and while listed as being ‘for two persons’, can easily feed more if paired with a few starters. This joyful meat mountain contains are freshly charcoal grilled lamb chops and ribs, chicken wings, cop shish, chicken shish, lamb and chicken doner and quail, all sitting on a bed of rice with complimentary salad and bread. We suggest asking for the special bread. This is Turkish bread placed on top of grilling meat to absorb the delicious intense charcoal flavours.
The platter highlights are the grilled chicken wing, with its crispy-outer-moist-meat combo, the flavoursome shish and that juicy, tender, on-the-bone lamp chop. Everything is seasoned well and the freshly grilled aromas evoke memories backyard barbecues of southern hemisphere summers. The only lowlight here is the quali – the meat is slightly on the dry side compared to the juiciness of everything else.
Service is efficient, friendly and no-nonsense, and fits in with the casual atmosphere. If you don’t feel like dining in, Tad also offers a substantial take-away menu. On our visit, the front counter had endless streams of people coming and going for takeaway meals. The
If you’re a meat lover, a conscious spender, are new to Turkish cuisine, or a seasoned veteran, Tad is well worth a visit.
261 Mare Street
London E8 3NS
Mon – Sun: 10:00am to 12:00am