Chef Civan Er’s Yeni comes to Soho

The culinary maestro at the vanguard of modern Turkish cuisine opens his first London outpost

Chef Civan Er of Yeni
Chef Civan Er of Yeni

Chef Civan Er’s modern take on traditional Anatolian dishes has put him at the forefront of new Turkish cuisine, and his contemporary restaurant Yeni Lokanta, which opened six years ago on the banks of the Bosporus to critical acclaim, has quickly taken its place among Istanbul’s top restaurants. And now the chef has turned his attention to London, where he will open new venue Yeni on Beak Street on February 4.

Er puts a modern twist on traditional Turkish cuisine with dishes such as sumac and cumin-flavoured steak tartare
Er puts a modern twist on traditional Turkish cuisine with dishes such as sumac and cumin-flavoured steak tartare

Er’s Istanbul restaurant provides the blueprint for the new London outpost, which will offer a similar ambience and menu. Expect small plates of zeytinyagli (a traditional Aegean dish where vegetables are braised in olive oil); aubergine-filled manti (a type of dumpling) with goat’s yoghurt; traditional Antep sausages with borlotti bean purée; or line-caught sea bass with fennel, raki (a Turkish spirit) and feta (all about £10).

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Larger plates (about £20) will include oven-roasted ribs with isot pepper on sourdough with cracked wheat; and sour cherries and sumac molasses with octopus prepared on a charcoal Josper grill. For dessert, think kadajifi (bread pudding) custard fritters with smoked buffalo-milk ice cream, or salted caramel panna cotta with pumpkin, while the venue’s spiced cocktails (from £10) are blended with spirits such as raki.

Roast sea bass with fennel, raki and feta, about £10, at Yeni
Roast sea bass with fennel, raki and feta, about £10, at Yeni

The restaurant’s modern interior is also full of Turkish delights – hand-blown glass chandeliers made by Istanbul artisans hang from the ceiling, while the solid onyx wall in the bar recalls the soft glow of the lanterns that set Istanbul’s Old Town aglow.

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