Restaurants

Yosma: A Turkish Tavern and Raki Bar in Marylebone

23rd September 2017

Yosma London is a Turkish restaurant and raki bar in Marylebone, inspired by the food and drinks served in traditional meyhane (tavern). It brings flavourful mezze, mangal and clay-oven dishes from the streets of Istanbul to the heart of London.

From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

Yosma opened one year ago in Marylebone, so it’s still a fairly new establishment in the London restaurant scene.

London has a large Turkish community and many great Turkish restaurants to choose from, so I won’t say Yosma is the best, but it’s certainly one worth trying in my opinion.

When I moved to London 11 years ago, I was introduced to Turkish mezze at the family-run eateries in Stoke Newington and Green Lanes in north London. Those are still great, but it’s good to have new restaurants in central London, that combine traditional Anatolian recipes with carefully-sourced ingredients and a modern approach to dining.

From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

The Executive Chef at Yosma London is Hus Vedat, a London-born chef of Turkish origins, who previously worked at the Caxton Grill and Barbecoa.

The elegant and stylish restaurant is close to Baker Street and Bond Street stations and is a great destination for brunch, lunch or dinner. There is a lounge bar area that would be perfect for an afternoon coffee or for evening drinks with Turkey’s national aperitif, raki.

From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in MaryleboneFrom the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in MaryleboneFrom the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

I tried Yosma for lunch with a friend a few weeks ago and had a great experience. We ordered several dishes to share and a glass of Turkish white wine for me. I loved everything that was brought to my table and I’ve been thinking about those dishes ever since.

Yosma London sources all the ingredients very carefully, for example using only fresh whole fish from Cornwall and whole lambs from local suppliers (that are butchered in-house).

From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

The menu is divided into cold and hot mezze, salads and sides, dishes cooked on the mangal (barbecue) or in the clay oven.

We ordered Patlıcan (cola roasted aubergine), Hellim (halloumi with mushroom, garlic, lemon olives), Hummus (chickpea purée, tahini, lemon, garlic), Kalamar Teva (calamari fried in chickpea flour).

"Patlican" Coal Roasted Aubergine. From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone Hellim - grilled halloumi cheese - Yosma, Turkish restaurant in Marylebone) Hummus - From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in MaryleboneFried Calamari in Chickpea Flour. From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

Gavurdağ is a salat with fresh red tomatoes, walnut, pomegranate, parsley and mint. It is delicious and one of my favourite dishes at Yosma. There’s nothing better tasting than sweet tomatoes drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil.

From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

My friend Amar ordered a halal meat dish, Ali Nazik: lamb rump with smoked aubergine, burnt tomato, lime yoghurt.

Lamb Ramp. From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in MaryleboneFrom the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

I ordered the börek, a favourite Turkish dish of mine. It’s an oven-baked pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese, pine nuts and mint. It was the star dish of our meal for both of us.

Börek clay oven baked pastry. From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

We shared an amazing cheesecake made with Turkish delight, pistachios, rose and served with sour cherry jam, which I was really to full to eat but I am very glad I did.

I also ordered a traditional Turkish coffee, brewed on the stove in a ibrik pot.

Turkish coffee and Pistachio cheesecake - From the streets of Istanbul to London: an authentic Turkish meal at Yosma in Marylebone

If I could add one thing to the menu, it would be a bigger bread selection. There is only one type of bread, baked in the clay oven and seasoned with garlic oil and za’atar. Soft and flavourful, it looked and tasted like an Italian-style focaccia. I would have loved to have options of lighter breads like a pide (pitta) to eat the hummus with.

I enjoyed every dish I tasted at Yosma and I’m sure it won’t be too long before I will be back. Their breakfast menu also looks extremely interesting, with dishes such as Menemen scrambled eggs, halloumi toastie and simit bread with honeycomb and kaymak clotted cream.

If you love Turkish and middle-eastern flavours and are looking for a nice restaurant, I recommend giving Yosma London a try.

Disclaimer: I was a guest at Yosma. All opinions are my own.  

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