Babaji, the latest restaurant from Wagamama’s Alan Yau, is right in the middle of theatreland. In an area filled with chains and places to grab a quick-but-maybe-not-so-tasty bite to eat before a show, we were hoping for somewhere with a more to offer than just how quickly the meal could be gobbled down.
We headed down on a Thursday evening and the place was packed, heated by the wood oven cooking fresh Pide (pronounced pee-day), or Turkish pizza. The menu is a mixture of Pide, Mezze and Stove & Grill, all perfect for sharing and prepared in an open kitchen on the first floor. We started off with a few different dishes from the mezze menu. The homemade hummus and oven baked halloumi were both as delicious as we’d hoped for; simple but lovingly made, and great with the fresh Turkish bread which came alongside it.
Next up, the restaurant’s signature dish, pide (apparently Alan Yau was inspired to open the restaurant as he didn’t think people in London and Istanbul were taking enough pride in their pide). We shared the Kiymali Pide, minced lamb, tomato and pepper and Kayseri Pide, beef pastrami and kagar cheese. Both were flavourful, fresh toppings on a soft dough base, deliciously washed down with a glass of the house white. We finished off with Homemade Pistachio Baklava with ice cream, which was nutty, crunchy and wonderfully sticky.
Babaji is a great addition to theatreland, great as a place to grab a pre-show dinner but also brilliant to enjoy a longer, leisurely dinner and maybe even worth missing the first ten minutes of the performance for…
Istanbul Pide Salonu
53 Shaftesbury Avenue
London W1D 6LB
Mon – Thur 12:00 – 23:00
Fri & Sat 12:00 – 23:30
Sun 12:00 – 22:00
Sat & Sun 11:00 – 16:30
+44 (0)20 3327 3888