I live in East London, which has a lot of Turkish restaurants but Agah Antaolian Turkish Restaurant, Grill and Bar is the best in the area. It has a large open kitchen with charcoal grill for cooking shish kebabs, two large doner kebab spits and a fabulous-looking open stone oven for cooking Turkish pides. The menu has a good variety of cold and hot dishes and all the food is beautifully presented and made with fresh ingredients. For a tasty Turkish meal in a warm and inviting environment, this is the place to go.
Flossy’s Rating: ★★★★★
We went to Agah Anatolian Turkish Restaurant on a Sunday night. The place is located on Commercial Street and looks like another average chain from the outside. But when you step inside it is a warm and friendly environment that is recently refurbished and comfortable. The furniture is new and clean and the tables are laid beautifully with cutlery, glasses, cloth napkins and wooden placemats. You would be forgiven for thinking it is a high end restaurant but the prices are as cheap as any other popular Turkish restaurant like Efes.
The menu has good variety and includes all the typical Turkish favourites as well as a few more unusual Anatolian type stews and kebab offerings. Unfortunately the range of vegetarian main meals is rather limited. We wanted to try a variety of foods and so we ordered a dishes to share. For starters we had a mixed mezze platter consisting of humous, ispanakli yoghurt, falafel, cheese borek, baba ghanoush, grilled haloumi and salad. The platter normally comes with vine leaves as well but the waiter agreed to substitute this for extra humous as we don’t like vine lines. The platter was served with a basket of bread and everything was delicious. The definite highlight was the yogurt dip which had a thick consistency with generous pieces of spinach and a big flavour kick without going overboard on the garlic. We couldn’t get enough of it on the warm Turkish bread. The cheese borek, which are filo pastry-like spring rolls, were a little on the dry side however the felafel that were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside more than made up for it. And the grilled haloumi, one of my favourites, was a great addition to the platter.
For the main course we shared a tabouleh salad and the Chef’s special called Agah’s delight, which is a traditional Ottoman spiced lamb stew. This dish was something special. We saw the chef cook the lamb on the BBQ but it was served in a mild stew containing yogurt and the meat was surprisingly soft and tender with a delicate smokey taste. The bed of aubergine added good flavour to the overall dish and served as a nice contrasting texture.
Overall the portion sizes were very generous and everything tasted so delicious our only disappointment was we couldn’t finish our meals. Although the service was a little average it was definitely on par for the area and the wine list was an added bonus. I am surprised this restaurant is not more busy as Agah is a great cheap night out when you don’t fancy cooking. I will be back!