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Ishtah (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Ishtah in Finchley, London

11 Hendon Lane, Finchley, London, N3 1RT
Cuisine: Turkish
Tel: 020 8371 8282 | Transport: Finchley Central | Write review

Ishtah Review

Top 10 things to know about Ishtah: 

1) Asking Londoners who live centrally to head out to zone 4 for an evening of culinary delights can be akin to asking them to board a spaceship bound for Mars, never to return. Turkish restaurants such as Ishtah, therefore, need to be on top of their game to draw diners from outside of their own locality.

2) It helps that Finchley Central is on the Northern line where the stops are short between zones. Did Transport for London shorten the zones in North London to rake in more from relatively well-off Finchleyians?

3) The restaurant’s decor is as welcoming as they get, with splashes of aqua and orange for the seating and sharp spotlights to accentuate the quality of their food.

4) Cheese always brings in the crowds, whether it's halloumi with mushrooms or cigar-shaped filo pastry starters stuffed with cheesy goodness. For once, thank goodness cigars are not prohibited inside a London restaurant.

5) Cheesy cocktail umbrellas are also back in fashion judging by their heavy usage in the classic cocktails offered by Ishtah.

6) When you've expended so much energy getting to zone 4, you need plenty of meat to replenish your protein supplies. Thankfully, their meat-centric menu has plenty to offer. Top recommendation would be their mixed grill which contains lamb cubes, lamb rib, chicken wings, chicken fillet, adana kofte and a lamb cutlet.

7) Alternatively, opting for a single type of meat should suffice because they cook them so mouthwatering well. The signature lamb sauté is succulent diced meat, slow cooked for hours, readily absorbing the rich sweetness of the tomato sauce. 

8) They are rightfully very proud of their Turkish heritage at Ishtah, so whilst their tiramisu is well constructed, sturdy and not overly sweet, consume it quickly before the manager comes over and questions why you didn't order the baklava instead.

9) Zone 4 this may be, but remember this is Finchley Central, so the clientele are unsurprisingly upscale and well-to-do. Hence, the restaurant tends to be packed on the weekends.

10) Service is faultless; the restaurant’s staff magically appear when needed but disappear rapidly when you are in the midst of a private conversation. more

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Venue ID: 25570

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