“Pivaz means onion, so come along and peel back the layers of flavour and ambience”. I did exactly that and lifted that piece of copy from their website. What you get here is well cooked kebabs in a very current space with squishy velour banquettes, cosy booths and a cocktail bar. The heart of the matter are the Turkish chef’s who made their names in the grill houses in London before coming to Epping. The service comes from waist coat-clad waiters, who are friendly and have a determined eagerness to please. It’s Turkish hospitality at its finest.
We start with a large mixed meze £19 of hummus, kasir, beetroot tarator, stuffed vine leaves, patlican soshlu and cacik.
Cacik is a thick dollop of yogurt with a good lacing of dill, cucumber, mint and a punch of garlic. It is extremely fragrant, cooling and not for those who come from a famously lactose intolerant country.
More yogurt features here with the beetroot, this time it’s taken on the purple tinge of the vegetable and looks like a pink emulsion ready to be slathered onto a Dutch brothel. I can happily say I didn’t need it and it made me look forward to my coal scorched meat!
Patlican soshlu sounds like a weird sexual manoeuvre, but it’s actually stewed down aubergine in a garlic and tomato sauce. It came cold as intended, but I found it unappetising. Partly because I don’t like cold aubergine and partly because I think the dish was a smidgen bland.
Things got better with the hummus, a whipped up creamy affair that we found ourselves scooping with their stunning chargrilled flat bread.
Kasir was a salad of bulgar wheat dressed in tomato sauce, spring onions and pomegranate two ways, in molasses form and their sugary seeds.
The stuffed vine leaves delighted too
A token salad with more pomegranate was the kitchen’s way of making sure we had all of the food groups covered in the vegetal world before we got our coal roasted protein.
The flat bread, full of charred notes and the right amount of chew.
Then finally I was spared the finishing of all the yogurts and affiliated salads to get down and some serious meat business. We went for the Pivaz mixed kebab of lamb-stroke-chicken shish, adana which was a kofte of sorts, a lamb chop and then a couple of token wings minus the drums. Everything was seasoned well and tender which made leaning over and shovelling easy. Beneath the mini mound of meat was a thin sheet of bread that was slickened from the meat juices, it was a righteous move and a delicious one at that.
When did I go? Nov 2017
The damage: £25-£30 per head with a drink
The good: I can see how this would be a popular place amongst locals, it’s a pleasant venue to be in with solid meat cookery over coals Turkish style. You could easily come in a group and have fun, even swing by for a cheeky date night.
The bad: I’d personally dodge the mixed meze, although the bread is a stunner and go straight for the Pivaz mixed grill.
Would I go again? If in the area why not
Address: 240A High St, Epping CM16 4AP