Delightful Turks at Appetite Mangal

Excellent value at new King Street Eatery

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Appetite Mangal
184 King Street
W6 0RA

020 8741 1372

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As per usual, our choice of restaurant on a Saturday evening was dictated by a recommendation from the forum. A contributor had said what a fantastic meal they had had at Appetite Mangal so, being in the mood for some barbequed meat but not in the mood to light our own barbeque, we headed on over.

The restaurant was very quiet for 8pm on a Saturday and I suspect a lot of their custom is for take-aways. The seating area is tiled and modern and more geared for cafe style eating than a long leisurely meal.

Appetite Mangal is not licenced so we brought our own beers along. We gave these to the waiter for 'uncorking' where they seemed to disappear for some time: certainly long enough for some mild panic to set in.

Eventually the beer reappeared shortly after our starters. We had chosen the mixed hot and cold meze. This had all the usual suspects: houmous, taramasalata, tzatziki, dolmades, aubergine in yogurt, calamari and some amazing little cheese stuffed filo pastries. Once we'd reminded the waiter to bring bread, they brought tonnes of lovely hot flat breads.

A side order of feta salad was delicious although we once again had to flag down the waiter to ask for some dressing to go with it.

My main course was a minced chicken kebab. Given that whenever a new meat is described it is inevitably said to taste like chicken, I had the novel experience of eating some chicken that tasted very much like lamb to me. I in fact, couldn't make huge inroads into the meat, however, as it was terrifically salty. The chilli and garlic sauces, rice and grilled chillies that came with the meat were delicious. My partner chose Kleftiko. He is a bit of a Kleftiko fan and didn't rate this one as one of the best he had had. The lamb shank was a bit fatty and rather than potatoes was accompanied by some whole tinned tomatoes and lovely fluffy rice.

But the two waiter/cooks who prepared the meal were so charming and sweet, it more than compensated for any disappointments in the meal itself. I think perhaps we had caught them on the hop sitting down for a full meal while they were also managing the takeaway section.

And the very best surprise of all was the bill: we were stuffed to the gills and the bill was a very economical £28.60. Cheapskates R' Us: I realised I had enjoyed the meal much more than I had thought and would certainly give Appetite Mangal another go.

Caroline Villiers

July 9, 2008