Freelance mermaid living in Peckham. It's far from the sea. Love finding free and exciting one-off events around London and telling the world! See my blog www.iamlikeawednesday.wordpress.com
Published July 1st 2012
Finding an eaterie along the Thames is so easy. But if you're bored of the generic chains like Pret, Nandos or Zizzi, it's a little bit trickier.
A stones throw from The Globe Theatre, Tas Pide's unassuming exterior, with neat little tables and chairs outside and plenty of plants, attracted my attention and the man inside playing the guitar was a treat for the ears. And inside it was buzzing (always a good sign); exciteable families and couples occupied every table in the room.
We were seated quickly, between two couples. Tas Pide is definitely intimate; the kitchen is in full view, the tables are tightly together and you may find yourself sitting in the close company of strangers. If you prefer your own space when you dine, it may be worth booking a table.
The waiter was on top form, bringing us menus and complimentary bread and olives before we'd even introduced ourselves to our table mates.
Choosing a starter was simple enough; we went for hot starters Kalamari (fairy self explanatory even in Anatolian) and Somon Tava, deep fried salmon cubes on skewers with sour rose sauce. The sauce was strong and tangy and a bit overbearing so I just stuck to a squeeze of lemon. Both the dishes were freshly cooked and served straight from the kitchen; the perfect hot starter and just the right size.
The signature dish of Tas Pide is indeed, the Pide. Ring any bells? Well children, listen closely. Pronounced pee-day, the Pide is a kind of boat shaped pizza. Based on the greek pitta, it emulates the bread that the Mediterranean's used as a plate, back in the day.
There's plenty of Pides to choose from and even a few Ortulu Pide, the equivalent to a Turkish Calzone. Opting for the Tavuklu (a chicken Pide with peppers, cheese and basil) I tried my best at the pronounciation which the waiter was gracious enough to (or pretend to) understand.
The guitar man came and went (I assume he needed regular breaks from all the plucking) and the room pulsed with life. The close seating arrangements became part of the intimate surroundings that makes Tas Pide really special.
As a Pide virgin, I was perhaps too excited for my main, leading to slight disappointment by my Tavuklu. Whilst made with pizza ingredients, I could not fathom how DRY it was. The rolled up dough around the edge was baked to a crisp but without any inner softness. The topping didn't have enough tomato puree, which meant I couldn't even moisten the dough with a tomato dousing! Luckily the Pides came with some cabbage, which I would thoroughly recommend eating with every mouthful. The flavours were amazing, which made it extra sad. It may have been that I got the anomaly dish; my boyfriend had no trouble with his Sucuklu (garlic sausage, mushroom, peppers, cheese and egg).
He wants to go back again.
Tas Pide had almost everything; the intimate, friendly atmosphere with a lovely bit of live music, charming and efficient waiters and hot, fresh food. Perhaps I opted for the wrong dish which whilst tasty, was hard to swallow. Our two course meal for two came to about £40, which is great for such a central tourist location and once inside the restaurant, you're transformed to a delightful Turkish paradise. Just remember that old saying; if your Pide be dry, eat plenty of cabbage.