Middle Eastern food is one of my weaknesses. I’m not talking a dirty kebab on my way home after a big night (although that also has its merits), but rather a selection of mezzes, preferably including as many dips as possible.
Kazan has a lovely moody atmosphere, with plenty of lamps and soft furnishings. It feels themed but without being over-the-top. This is definitely a date night venue, especially if you can nab one of the cozy corners like we did.
We started off by sharing the mixed mezze platter for two (£16.95), which was simply amazing. The dips were flavoursome and creamy (the beetroot dip and baba ganoush were particular stars), the falafal was crispy and the breads were divine. I would quite happily have this dish on its own for lunch on a regular basis!
For my main, I went for the Hunkar Begendi (Sultan’s Delight – £14.95) of tender stewed and spiced lamb on top of delicious smoked aubergine mash. I had never had anything quite like it before, but I would definitely order it again. My partner enjoyed the Ottoman Grill (£16.95), which was a serious plate of meat, but I didn’t think it was anything particularly special.
Kazan also offers some impressive cocktails and mocktails – and I think I actually preferred the non-alcoholic versions! The Turkish Lemonade (£3.95 – fresh mint, lemon, lime, rose water, grenadine and lemonade) was the perfect refreshment on a warm day.
So what’s the verdict? Kazan may not be as cheap as a kebab, but it’s a far better choice!
The good: The mezze platter is the star of the show!
The bad: The Ottoman Grill is fine, but there are more exciting options on the menu.
The insider tip: If you don’t have a reservation and can’t get in, head across the street to Kazan Kitchen for a more casual (yet still tasty) meal.