“ 20 - 22 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DR. „
I am Turkish myself and for the last five years I've been trying to find a Turkish restaurant in London that actually serves Turkish food. So when I booked at Tas Pide I was rather sceptical. I went to the restaurant for a Friday lunch with a friend of mine. First of all we were greeted by a very unfriendly head-waitress who wanted to make us sit next to the lavatory, of course I refused and opted for another table which wasn't a problem since the place was half empty. She made a face and walked away - very unprofessional and rude. So that wasn't a good start.
The food was absolutely horrible - from start to the finish. We ordered couple of cold and hot starters (which were recommended by our waiter who knew I was Turkish) and for mains we had two pides (mince lamb and chop meaty ones), which were both bland and tasteless. We tried our best to finish what we got, but we just couldn't, it was horrible.
I was very disappointed, will never go to this place again. On the top of that they charged us 25 quid per head (without wine!) for this rubbish.
If you want to have real Turkish food, then go to Turkey... that's what I'd say.
I spent the weekend in London a week or so ago and as it was a friend's birthday - her 25th no less! - a few of us went for a meal on the Saturday night. Now this particular friend has a habit of choosing rather dodgy restaurants for her birthday meals - I must say I've always been happy with the ones she's chosen but some of our other friends have been less than complimentary! This time, the restaurant she chose was Tas Pide on the south bank of the Thames.
Tas Pide is a chain of Turkish restaurants located in London. I had never heard of this chain, let alone visited any of the restaurants; in fact, I had never eaten Turkish food before (although I have tried similar foods such as Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine). I am always up for trying new things so I was quite excited to be going.
I had no idea where the restaurant was so was pleasantly surprised when we arrived and I saw that it was right next to the Globe theatre! I visited the Globe several times last year when I was living in Cambridge and never noticed this restaurant. In my defence I went to the theatre alone each time (somehow couldn't get any of my friends to go with me...) so wouldn't have thought of visiting a restaurant anyway. I made a mental note of this straight away. The location of the restaurant means that it is easy to get to from central Tube stations such as Blackfriars, Cannon Street and London Bridge, and it is easy to find - just spot the Globe, walk up to it and proceed down New Globe Walk.
My friend had booked a table for 8pm. When we arrived we were shown to our table straight away. The restaurant seemed quite small but was beautifully decorated with a Mediterranean theme: white walls and carving and bits of greenery. We were immediately given a dish of delicious soft bread and small pots of olives and tzatziki. I was impressed to find that these were complimentary and were replenished several times during the meal.
As it was a special occasion we ordered some sparking wine, which was lovely and refreshing. There seemed a good range of drinks available and the prices were comparable to other restaurants in the area.
Food-wise, the menu looked intriguing and delicious. Starters included things like falafel, hummus, olives and feta cheese. Main courses included dishes like lamb, beef and sardines, with ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, apricots and Turkish cheese. As a vegetarian I noticed that there were several suitable veggie dishes. A large part of the menu was taken up with pide. The pide is basically a Turkish pizza. It is boat-shaped and the edges are turned up, but the ingredients are placed on the pide just like a pizza.
There are several set menus available, ranging from the comparatively cheap to the very expensive. Three of our party including me went for the Sahan Menu which only cost around £9. This included a starter and a Pide.
We had to wait a little while for our starters, but the restaurant was busy and we had plenty of bread and olives so we didn't mind. When our starters arrived they looked delicious. One of my friends had the soup and her boyfriend (who wasn't having the set menu) had falafel, which he shared with her. They both said theirs were yummy. My other friend and I both had a feta cheese salad, which was very tasty and fresh. The portion sizes seemed just right for starters.
After a short wait we received our main courses. My friend's boyfriend is vegan so ordered something which involved artichokes in tomato sauce. At first he was slightly worried it was something else, as apparently it didn't look like what it was supposed to! However the staff were really nice when he asked about it, they weren't funny or annoyed or anything like that. As it turned out, all was in order!
The rest of us all had pides and I have to say they were delicious. Mine consisted of Kashar cheese (which is creamy and slightly salty, similar to feta but with a different texture), a selection of vegetables and an egg! It might sound odd to put an egg on a pizza/pide but I've had one at Ask before so knew I liked it. The pide was an interesting alternative to pizza, and one which I'd recommend to anyone who was a bit of a fussy eater and was slightly put off by the more 'exotic' options on the menu.
We were too full after this to have room for dessert, although we looked at the menu and thought they looked tasty. A couple of us did decide to have a Turkish liqueur to finish our meal. Mine tasted of raspberries and was lovely.
I can't remember what the actual bill came to, but considering the set menu cost under a tenner and the bread was complimentary, it can't have been that bad. We paid up and left, leaving a tip of course, as the staff were friendly and helpful at all times, serving us quickly but not hurriedly, and answering any questions we had.
I am really excited by this restaurant. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed an eating-out experience so much. Perhaps it's the relative exoticness of the food, the friendly service, deliciousness of the food or even it's fantastic location, but I recommend it 100% and would definitely go back. If I can manage to find a friend who enjoys Shakespeare (and I'm not holding my breath on that one) I will definitely come here for a pre-theatre dinner. Even if I wasn't going to the theatre I would definitely come here anyway.
As I mentioned, I am vegetarian and my friend's boyfriend is vegan, and we had no problems finding suitable food. I am not sure about other dietary requirements though.
I would recommend booking a table in advance, as I can imagine Tas Pide getting quite busy, with it being next to the Globe. The restaurant can be contacted on 020 7928 3300.
The menu and other useful information, such as the location of the other restaurants in the Tas chain, can be found at www.tasrestaurant.com.
I actually did manage to convince a Shakespeare-loving friend to visit Tas Pide with me a few weeks ago, before heading off to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe. I'm pleased to report that Tas Pide is just as good as I remembered, although the prices have increased (the Sahan Menu is now just under £10), although this is to be expected. I would definitely go again, and so would my friend who was similarly impressed!
I seem to be working my way through the range of Mediterranean cuisines. Tapas,, Morrocan, pasta what's next on the list? Next up is Turkish as I've found Tas Pide, a very good value restaurant on Bankside just across the road from the Globe Theatre.
Tas is a small chain of nine Turkish restaurants, bars and cafes located in central London. Its fairly easy to find Tas Pide as it is just opposite the Globe on New Globe Walk and and only a stone throw away from London landmarks such as the Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern and Saint Paul's Cathedral. Its easy to get to by public transport, as it is within walking distance of Blackfriars, Cannon Street and London Bridge railway stations. If you were arriving by tube its easy enough to get to from London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee), Southwark (Jubilee), Mansion House (District and circle) and saint Paul's (Central Line).
My first impressions of the restaurant were excellent. The outside of the building is shrouded in greenery and there are tables outside for when the weather is sunny. The interior decoration is just as pretty with white walls and lovely wooden beams and gorgeous carving. It does feel like a little corner of the Mediterranean in central London.
I have visited twice so far and our last visit was early evening on a Friday when the restaurant was already busy with pre theatre diners. We we got a table immediately but we were told we had to be out by 8 pm. This was about 6.30 so this was enough time to enjoy our meal without being rushed.
Whilst ordering we were treated to complimentary lovely soft white bread,olives and dips. I was impressed as our bread basket was refreshed three or four times during our meal.
I like the menu at Tas Pide. There is plenty of choice for everyone as long as you like Turkish or Middle Eastern food. There's a nice selection of starters and mezze from around about the £4 mark. Main courses are between £6 and £10.15 for steak, prawns and swordfish. Lamb seems to be a very popular ingredient for carnivores but there is a great selection of dishes for vegetarians, one of the best I have seen on a menu with eight options. However there speciality is a Pide which is very much Turkish pizzas. Instead of being round they are oval in shape almost like an eye or a canoe.
The other great thing about Tas is the special set menus which are exceedingly good value for money with the cheapest ones being £8.75. On out first visit we opted for the Yaz Menu which consisted of delicious lentil soup and then a mix of hot and cold vegetarian mezze. The cold mezze were brought on a huge silver plate before filling the table. Examples of these included various salads and humus with falafal and borek (pastries filled with feta cheese) for the hot mezze. The portions of the hot starters were not quite so big with only oner two per person.
On our recent visit we opted for the Sahan Menu which consisted of a starter and a Pide. We selected the humus and feta cheese salad to share. They were both delicious although the hummus was quite smooth and I ideally like it chunky. There is a nice range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. On both occasions I've stuck to their delicious bottles of organic juice. I like the selection they have. Its not just orange and apple I had melon the first time and pomegranate the second and my friend had quince. These little bottles are around about the £2.25 to £2.75 mark. Miscellaneous jugs of tap water were automatically brought to our table without asking. I really liked our jug as it was terracotta and looked very rustic whys the next table had a very pretty glass one with piping. I like the assorted jugs as it have it a homely feel rather than the corporate sameness of other places.
I was very impressed with my Pide. We both opted for the Kasarili (Kashar cheese, fresh mint, parsley, sesame seeds, sundried tomatoes). The base was lighter than even a thin crust pizza and had the sesame seeds embedded in it to give it a nice twist of flavour. I really liked the kashar cheese as a topping as it is fairly salty but also quite creamy. I much preferred it to mozzarella. The only thing that let it don were the lumps of sun dried tomatoes which were a bit too strong. I look forward to trying other Pides
Pides are smaller than a lot of pizzas and it was nice to have room for dessert. The dessert menu again has a nice selection with very much an emphasis on sticky pastries and dried fruits. My friend had baklava whilst Iopted for Firin Sutlac, a Turkish rice pudding with rose water and orange peel. I did not mind paying £3.95 as it was something slightly different from the run of the mill desserts places often serve up. My dessert looked pretty being servedi n a glass dish with a cinnamon strewn serviette underneath. The rice pudding was very fragrant and tasty at first but i found the rose water to be a bit overpowering by the end of it. Think rice pudding mixed with Turkish delight.
The service at Tas was very friendly, helpful and quick without feeling rushed. The toilets were on ground floor with a disabled toilet so completely accessible for wheelchair users. I liked the carved wooden toilet doors and the stone decoration inside. The only y problem was there only seemed to be one ladies toilet so I ended up using the disabled one.
I would highly recommend Tas Pide and would not hesitate to go to one of her sister venues. The food is tasty, seems pretty authentic and is good value especially if you op for one of the set menus. Tas is head and shoulders above The real Greek just around the corner and is our new favourite restaurant. I just hope it does not deteriorate.
20 - 22 New Globe Walk
Tel: 020 7928 3300
You may remember from my recent review of our visit to see A Midsummer's Night Dream at The Globe on the Southbank in London, that before we saw the performance we had a meal at a nearby restaurant. The restaurant in question was Tas Pide, a Turkish restaurant literally just across the road from the entrance to The Globe on New Globe Walk.
Tas Pide is one of the Tas chain of restaurants, which consists of some that advertise themselves under the Tas name alone and others that are named Tas Pide. The difference in name appears to reflect the difference in emphasis in the menu. The Pide reference is to a particular Turkish dish which to all intents should be described as a Turkish Pizza.
Indeed, it may well be fair to say that the Pizza is the Italian version of the Pide. The names sound similar when you say them rather than when you spell them and it is true to say that much Western cuisine, especially that of the Greeks, has been heavily influenced by Turkish dishes. Perhaps that is in fact the origin of the name of the Italian dish?
The Pide differs from the Pizza in a couple of ways. Firstly, its shape is similar to that of the Zulu war shield. The restaurant describes it as boat shaped. The analogy to the boat comes from the second characteristic; the edges are turned up in order to turn the bread base into a container.
The Tas Pide at The Globe appears to have been converted from a small warehouse, as is common in what were once commercial trading areas of London, especially those close to the Thames. The restaurant is entered from the street up a short flight of stairs. Here, in front of you you see a floor where it appears to be wall-to-wall with tables. It is true that they are tightly packed in and you certainly become friendly with your neighbour!
However, although it would appear that there isn't much room, in fact the atmosphere that this creates is cosy and good-natured. You would do well though not to try to widen your space with your elbows; it probably wouldn't be appreciated. Instead, strike up a conversation. It seems to come naturally and everyone seems to go with the flow. It's that sort of place.
The owners recognise that many of their customers will be departing to attend a performance across the road. We were asked when we came in and in recognition that time may be at a premium they will do their best to make sure that you are served and on your way so as not to be late for the Bard. Not, that is, that the service seems rushed; you take as much time as you want but when you need them they will be there to serve you.
A full range of dishes is on offer; the list is not restricted to just pide. However, if pide is your choice, as it was on both occasions when we ate there, you have a choice of toppings/fillings as divers as apricots, cheese and peppers (Kayisili), diced lamb and peppers (Kusbasili) and sardines, red onion and olives (Sardalyarli). My personal favourite is Pastirmali: oak-smoked cured beef with charleston pepper, fresh tomatoes and topped off with an egg (optional).
But, you don't have to have pide. They also do a range of vegetarian dishes for those of the meat-free persuasion as well as several fish and seafood offerings. Their halibut with fresh tomatoes, garlic and orange zest, cooked in white wine, my wife tells me is "yummy".
As you will have gathered therefore, although Turkey is at least nominally a Muslim country, though today the secularists hold the sway, that doesn't mean that alcohol isn't on the menu. They have a good range of wines on offer and I can recommend the house rose. There is also beer for those who prefer.
Prices are quite reasonable; a typical pide will cost you around £7. There is much competition in the area and so prices have to be reasonable. This is possibly the reason for the apparent success of Tas Pide, that and the general quality of the food.
I can certainly recommend Tas Pide, whether or not you are on the Southbank for the Bard. The restaurant is just off of the Silver Jubilee Walk which runs along the south bank of the Thames from Tower Bridge to Victoria and then across the Thames. The whole walk is 14 miles so I don't expect you to do it all in a day but, if you are covering the southern stretch, what better place to take a break and some refreshment to recharge you for the rest of the journey?
Pide is a traditional Anatolian dish based on a recipe dating back thousands of years. Freshly made dough, resembling the shape of a boat, is baked in a wood fired oven producing a crispy outer crust. A variety of highly flavoured, aromatic fillings, containing either meat, fish or vegetables and cheese provide the topping. Truly delicious and best eaten by hand - as in ancient times!