This elegant yet comfortable Turkish restaurant sits in the heart of New Eltham in South London. Since March 2019, Zavi has been serving authentic dishes with a modern twist straight from the Turkish motherland.
The restaurant is a super chic dining spot combining local ingredients from its busy open kitchen and super drinks from its very own cocktail bar. It promises to take its customers to the heart of its culinary identity through its varied and authentic menu. We started proceedings with a rich full-bodied red from the expansive wine list, whilst we looked over the menu. As I most often get FOMO when I go to a restaurant and to get a taste of many of the dishes, we decided to get a mix of sharing and mezze style starters. Turkish food is all about sharing which I love. In the mixed mezze we had: Hummus is delightfully fresh, garlicky and creamy with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Beetroot Tarator, oven-roasted beetroot made with natural strained yoghurt, a hint of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and topped with walnut. Super flavourful and fresh tasting. Baba Ganoush, Smoked aubergine, tahini, strained yoghurt, a hint of garlic and olive oil topped with fresh pomegranate. This always is a must! Kisir, is made from bulgur wheat, spring onions, tomato sauce and fresh celery seasoned with pomegranate molasses and fresh herbs. A delightful varied dish that goes well with the creamy other starters. Patlican Soslu, Pieces of deep-fried aubergine, in a fresh tomato sauce. Exploding flavours. Cacik, Creamy yoghurt, cucumber, mint, and garlic which was amazing! For the qhot starter, we ordered the dramatic Saganaki Cheese, pan-fried flaming Cypriot cheese served with brandy. This was theatre on a plate, served at your table flaming and sizzling right in front of your eyes. The flames flambee the cheese to leave a marinated oozy creamy and delightfully sweet and salty cheese made for sharing. One not to miss!! It was fantastic! Onto the mains and we again opted for a variety to taste the different authentic ways of cooking fish and meat from this part of the world. We opted for the Garlic buttered prawns and a Zavi mixed grill, encompassing an assortment of chicken shish, lamb shish, Adana, chicken wings, and a lamb chop Glistening and perfect, first up were the prawns, served in all their glory on a gleaming white plate, the split grilled king prawns were perfectly flamed, cooked in garlic butter on a bed of fluffy basmati rice. The rich garlic flavours exploded in your mouth and the fish was cooked perfectly, super soft and fresh. Next was the mixed grill. A plate packed full of meat, the chicken shish was grilled to perfection, marinated and juicy served together with the meaty lamb chop, succulent and flavourful. The chicken wings were crispy and fell off the bone and everything was served together with a side of fluffy rice. All the meats were served with an umami-tastic combo of smokiness and sweet and salty flavours getting your taste buds going. Swoon. Of course, after all that feast we made sure to save room for the dessert, and what a selection! I have a soft spot for brownies, and of course, had to try the Zavis version to see if they made the mark. And boy did it score highly! The luxurious Zavi brownie was a chocolate layered thick brownie, roasted hazelnuts and chocolate cream all covered in a chocolate glaze. Served with vanilla ice cream, It was a dream! To cut through the richness of the delightful brownie we also had the fresh and sweet lemon sorbet, a great way to end a fantastic meal. Zavi certainly is a place to get to if you want to try authentic Turkish cuisine with a modern twist. Everything was fantastic! The look is contemporary chic with sleek designer furnishings so is perfect for that touch of luxury that makes the whole experience an event. The staff was super helpful in guiding you through the menu made this spot one to add to my little dining black book.