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Published June 1st 2013
The food isn't just good at Gokyuzu, it's amazingly good
Gökyüzü is a busy, buzzy Turkish restaurant in Haringey. You may have to queue for a table, but I promise you that you will not leave hungry. In fact I can promise you that you probably won't be able to finish all that you are served, and will have to ask for a doggy bag for your leftovers.
We were taken by friends, who have eaten there on many occasions. First of all you need to bypass the crush of hungry diners queuing for their food, so that you can leave your name and then wait for a spare table. Whilst sitting on the bench waiting, perhaps with a cold drink, you have no option but to watch the staff slice into doner kebabs, take cold meats from the fridge to cook, and load up platters that look as if the waiters would be hard pushed to lift and take to the tables.
Preparing Food in Gokyuzu
Refrigerated Meats Waiting to be Cooked (Image courtesy of the restaurant's website)
Once you sit down there is an even harder task. What do you choose to eat from the extensive menu? There are mezes and kebabs, wood oven cooked pides, charcoal grills and sharing platters, plus salads if you want to be a little more healthy and a little less greedy. As this was our first visit and we didn't know where to begin, we plunged straight in with a sharing platter consisting of lamb, adana and chicken shish, lamb ribs, chicken wings and chicken and lamb doner, served on a bed of rice and bulgur wheat.
Sharing Platter of Mixed Meats
They also provide a delicious side salad dressed with pomegranate syrup.
Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
Perhaps I should confess that we had already started to fill ourselves up with bread and the cold mezes consisting of cacik, humus, bulgur wheat and tarama.
I wish I could convey the flavours in writing, but you'll need to visit yourself to see what I mean. The adana kebabs were beautifully spiced, the lamb ribs were succulent and crispy, the chicken wings were just amazing and it was fun just forking out the little flecks of doner kebab mixed into the rice and bulgur wheat. The salad with its fruity dressing was just asking for more bread to mop up the juices that were left behind, and our greedy and gluttonous eyes and stomachs were unable to resist the small squares of baklava that were served to round off the feast. All I needed at the end was a welcoming cup of mint tea to soothe my overindulgence.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant is vibrant and noisy, with many local Turkish people eating there with their friends and families and the service, too, is efficient and helpful.
Contented Diners Inside Gokyuzu
Above all Gökyüzü is incredible value for money. A sharing platter for two or three people costs £25.50, and one for four to five people is £38.50. The pides cost under £8 each and the charcoal dishes start at £7 for a small portion. And if you don't want to sit down to eat, you can always call in for a take away and enjoy your food at home.