Image: David Cheal
April 22 2010
I often find myself on the South Bank in London, taking advantage of the myriad cultural opportunities that present themselves along this stretch of the Thames, or simply wandering and dipping into, say, Tate Modern for some artistic refreshment. But while the area of the South Bank around the Royal Festival Hall has benefited from the addition in recent years of several new eateries, things are thinner around Tate Modern; the various catering outlets within the museum are fine, but overpriced, and often crowded.
Then a friend introduced me to Ev, an offshoot of the Tas chain of Turkish restaurants that has been wowing diners for years with its fresh and zingy cuisine. Tucked away in a back street beneath the railway arches behind Southwark Tube station, just a few minutes’ walk from Tate Modern (if you didn’t know it was there, you’d never find it), Ev (it means “home” in Turkish) is situated in a tranquil oasis of bars and restaurants which is particularly lovely in the warmer months, thanks to the colonnade of greenery that lines this little walkway; each place has the option of outdoor eating or drinking.
There are in fact three Evs here: a restaurant, a bar (which serves food), and a deli/café. The one I favour is the deli. Here, as well as the shelves of Turkish groceries, there is a counter where staff will pile your plate with sumptuous Turkish mezze and salads: tzatziki, olives, hummus, grilled vegetable salads, pasta with dried tomatoes, stuffed peppers, all glisteningly fresh and tangy (£4.95 for five salads, with Turkish bread thrown in). If I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll reach for an Efes Turkish beer from the fridge. (The coffee, by the way, is terrific.) Thus fortified, I am ready to return to the artistic wonderland that is the South Bank.
Open Monday to Friday, 7.30am-10pm; Saturday, 8.30am-10pm; Sunday, 8.30am-8pm.