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boregi – filo finger rolls filled with feta. The décor is Aegean canteen practical and as the paddles on the overhead fans continued churning, the people kept arriving, Yuksel greeting them like old friends. Customers sashayed through the seemingly endless dining room to their tables looking very pleased with themselves. I imagine we also looked fairly smug when the main courses landed. Lamb shish that was tender on the inside, firm on the out; spiced lamb kofta; juicy chicken shish. Each had an aromatic whiff of coals like a barbecue on the beach and each was served with vibrant salad, rice and yet more heavenly hummus. We had deliberately kept it simple but with wraps, quails and poussin, seafood and oven baked musakka on the menu, there were plenty of opportunities to be adventurous if the holiday mood prevailed. Turkish culinary culture prides itself on the freshness of its food and Yuksel knows what he is doing. Recently resident in Gipsy Hill, of Kurdish extraction, he has run successful restaurants in central London and Angel and he admits with a shy smile that he saw potential here in Crystal Palace. Not to mention the fantastic views. Tailoring business to fit busy weekends alongside quieter weekday trade is a challenge we retailers all face but his kitchen is more than capable and on our daytime return the following week we are shown a distilled, manageable lunch menu, as neat and tasty

as their perfect falafels, which is what I order. The two courses for less than a tenner midday deal is an appetising offer and clearly one that, along with ourselves, as we observed from our less frenetic daytime perch, even a couple of local beat coppers couldn’t resist. And you can’t ask for more than the approval of the long dipping arm of the law, eh? Dem 11 Central Hill SE19 1BG demrestaurant.co.uk

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The Transmitter Issue 40  

A South London Magazine

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