Review of Yosma - a new Turkish restaurant in London
When I found out about the newly opened Yosma I just had to try it out!
It's a new Turkish restaurant to join the London food scene. Located on Baker Street, just 10 minutes walk from the busy Oxford Street. Yosma calls itself a Mehane, Mangal (barbeque) and Raki (popular alcoholic drink in Turkey) bar. It's literally a place for friends and family to eat, drink and get merry, hence why all the food are served in small sharing plates. Even better for me since it means I get to try out more things!
Once I walked in, I was amazed by how the big the restaurant was. There's a bar to the far right with some soft seating. Right at the back is the open kitchen. It wasn't too busy when I got it, so I was pretty much given the choice of where I wanted to sit. Of course I opted for a seat facing into the kitchen and right next to the pass, which was manned by head chef Hus Vedat! The whole night, I saw how hard the chefs worked, and how organised their kitchen was. They had a very good system in place, and were very organised. The service was really quick too. Very impressed!
The menu itself was also very well organised. There's cold and hot mezes, food from the grill / barbeque and the clay oven - a good variety of meat and vegetarian and seafood dishes to choose from.
Babaganus (£5.00) - a smooth aubergine pulp with small chunks of aubergine in it and lightly seasoned. This is my favourite dip to have and Yosma didn't disappoint. But what was even better was the complimentary bread served with it - it had a sprinkling of various herbs and spices on it and lightly toasted (probably on the grill). A very good start to my meal.
Traditional Turkish dumplings Manti (£6.00) - these were tiny bitesize dumplings filled with lamb's neck, in a yogurt sauce seasoned with chilli and mint oil. The dumplings themselves weren't overly seasoned, but the lamb neck filling was delicious. The yogurt sauce was also good to drizzle over the other dishes I tried. The downside to this dish is there just wasn't enough, especially for £6.00.
Hellim (£7.00) - grilled halloumi served with a variety of wild mushrooms. I watched the chef gently toss the mushrooms in a pan with a light buttery sauce. Who would've thought a plate of grilled cheese and mushrooms could taste so good! Perfect for meat eaters and vegetarians.
Barbun (£8.00) - two perfectly cooked red mullet, simply served with a sprinkling of salt and a wedge of lemon. I saw this on the pass and had to order it myself! I'm thinking these were deep fried, firstly because I didn't see the chef on the grill cook them and also because the fish tail was super crispy like it had been fried. Either-way, the fish was moist and fell right off the bone. Highly recommend this.
Another dish I saw on the pass and had to order was the Kalamar Tava (£7.00) - chickpea floured calamari, served with squid ink tatar, dried chilli flakes and a wedge of lime. THE BEST calamari I've had in a long time. There was a strong nutty flavour in the sauce and also the calamari itself. Sometimes, there's a fear of the calamari being tough or rubbery. That's not the case with Yosma's - the calamari was super tender! I also think I got lucky, because i got some good decent sized pieces on my plate.
For mains, I chose the Ali Nazik (£15.00) - pink lamb rump served with yogurt sauce, an aubergine pulp like the babaganus and grilled tomatoes. The lamb rumps were super tender and so juicy. Drizzled over was This was definitely my favourite dish of the night and I was practically fighting over every last crumb with my companion! There was also a generous sprinkling of chilli flakes which added a nice bit of heat to the dish.
I also had the Dana Kaburga (£11.00) - grilled short beef rib served with pickled cucumber. The meat was so tender it was falling off the bone and there was a lot of it too! Underneath the rib, was a bed of grilled onions that were super sweet, so it balanced well with the pickled cucumber. I'd say if there was a touch less salt on the beef rib, then this would've been perfect.
To end my meal I had the Sambali (£6.00) - a generous slice of semolina cake, served with a scoop of ice-cream on a bed of crushed peanuts. A nice moist and fluffy cake, with a hint of lemon. Paired with the ice-cream and peanuts, it was a perfect end to my meal.
I had a really good time at Yosma and will definitely be going back soon. I think Yosma has brought the game up for Turkish restaurants in London. Authentic flavours served in a modern way, suitable for Londoners. The lady at the front desk didn't exactly give me a warm welcome. But all the serving staff looked after me well. Head chef Hus also checked in with me and asked me several times during the night if I liked the food. I could tell a lot of thought and heart has gone into Yosma - every single person in there wants it to succeed, which no doubt it will!
Address: 50 Baker Street, London, W1U 7BT
Phone: 0203 019 6282