Babaji Pide Salonu
Another one of Alan Yau’s restaurants re-opened last month… This time it is centred around a Turkish pizza, also known as Pide, and again it did not disappoint. A giant stone oven is the central feature on the ground floor dining area, and I quite enjoy watching the pide master kneading the dough and making these fresh Turkish flatbreads. We went there during July taking an advantage of the 50% discount on food promotion offered by the restaurant, to try as many dishes as possible and also to check out the interiors.
According to Babaji Pide Salonu, the interior was designed by Autoban, a Turkish based design studio, with intention of creating interior that is both contemporary and rich in Turkish heritage. The restaurant benefits from its prominent corner location, clad with a cast iron façade interspersed with large windows providing clear views to the restaurant interiors. A pide making performance is given centre stage on the ground floor, with counter space given over to pide masters who plunge their handmade boat-shaped flat breads into the large wood-fired oven visible to all.
Striking handcrafted ceramic tiles that were produced specifically for this project by skilled makers in Turkey dominated the walls and ceiling on both levels of the restaurant. The angularity in the blue surfaced times is a contemporary homage to the geometry that is one of the unique features of historical Ottoman architecture.
In terms of food, I was more than impressed because it was very vegetarian friendly. I ordered Samphire cooked with garlic, red pepper and sun blushed tomato with Pide Patates, which were both delicious. the pide was warm, moist and slightly chewy; while samphire was fresh and crunchy. The fresh waterlemon juice complemented the food perfectly. My friend had the Lamb Kofte which looked and smelt fantastic. This is a perfect meeting place for a night out in the west end, with its central location in soho, light menu and moderate price point. Needless to say that we will definitely be coming back here for more Pide and Mezze for sure…
Babaji Pide Salonu can be found at 53 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6LB.