Turkish delights at The Gipsy Queen
- Credit: Mehmet Er
Eastern Turkey comes to Kentish Town as neighbourhood pub The Gipsy Queen celebrates its latest food pop up.
The globe-trotting menu changes every six months - from tacos to sushi - but the latest is the work of Nomad Brothers, a Turkish duo from Gaziantep which is renowned for its rich culinary tradition.
Ibbo and Appo, moved to London a few years ago and their food marries authenticity with a contemporary twist for European palates. This is their first venture in NW5 and previously they served up food for the film industry, catering for crew on the likes of A Street Cat Named Bob and Jurassic World- Fallen Kingdom.
On our visit we could see the brothers at work behind a glass counter adorned with a string of Turkish evil eye amulets. We started with the Borek - a crisp, thin rolled pastry with feta and parsley. It was fresh, light and superb with the garlicky tzatziki. An innovative meze dish titled Hummucidal Maniacs proved to be a fresh, flavourful medley of flat bread with hummus, chilli tomato and aubergine puree.
Our mains included crisp falafels with a hint of warming sumac which had a homely touch, and my favourite – grilled aubergine with garlic and tomato accompanied by a wheat pilaf which offered smoky overtones.
Although tempted to order baklava, we were drawn to the ‘Nomad Special,' a delicate, warm pancake with a winning combination of apple, cinnamon, strawberry and walnuts, topped with vanilla ice-cream. The cinnamon gave it a somewhat festive edge, which was strange for an afternoon in August but we devoured it with pleasure.
Other dishes with creative titles include the Shwarmageddon wrap, and Sultans of Wing. When their stint at The Gipsy Queen comes to an end the end, the brothers hope to open a permanent establishment in Highgate or nearby with a menu that stands apart from the usual offer around Haringey's Green Lanes.
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This dog-friendly independent pub has proven popular for its weekly Sunday speed quiz and big screen finales of Game of Thrones or Love Island in their beer garden. Their guest lines include Tiny Rebel, The Kernel alongside a wide selection of regular craft beers. The attentive, friendly staff are actively involved in a cocktail upsell challenge where they design their own concoctions every week, with the biggest seller winning a prize. They will also be showing Premier League, Champions League, Europa league and International Football fixtures.
The Gipsy Queen, 166 Malden Road, London NW5. Booking recommended for large groups. Open Monday to Thursday 3pm to 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 12am and Sunday from 12pm to 11pm.