Reviewed by Ruman
When Yosma first opened, the only halal option on their menu was one chicken dish. When news spread of this modern Turkish restaurant offering a range of halal chicken and lamb dishes I knew I had to check it out. I finally got the chance to visit the restaurant with a friend for lunch on a weekday afternoon.
I was hoping to try the shakshuka but disappointingly, they used beef sausages, which aren’t halal at Yosma. I decided to browse the lunch options instead and settled on the Lamb Shish which was served with a pide, chips and sumac salad. The dish took a while to come out and although the flavours worked well together, particularly with the use of the lime yoghurt, the lamb was just too chewy for my liking. There wasn’t as much meat on my plate as I had expected but it would have gone to waste even if there was more. I didn’t realise there would be tomatoes under the lamb (I’m not a fan of tomatoes and my friend is allergic) and the use of what looked like squashed tomatoes just resulted in a soggy pide. I was left disappointed and craving more food. At this point all I could hope for was a saviour in the form of a kunafa for dessert which both my friend and I were looking forward to.
My friend ordered the Chicken Shish which was also served with pide, chips and sumac salad. The presentation of both of our dishes cannot be faulted and like the lamb dish, the flavours in the chicken dish worked really well (even though my friend ended up scraping off the tomatoes off her pide – her allergy isn’t severe). The tahini sauce was a nice touch to the dish.
As part of Yosma’s all day breakfast menu, you can order Bottomless Turkish tea for £2. Naturally, this is served in a Turkish glass which means you’d finish a glass in a couple of sips. The downside to this is that we were constantly trying to get the attention of the waiter to refill the glass. I’m not sure if this is deliberate on Yosma’s part but maybe it would make sense to place a pot of tea on the table and refill that instead? It would certainly make for a better dining experience. It didn’t help matters when the waiter took my friend’s half filled glass away without asking.
Finally the moment we had been waiting for – kunafa time! Both of us had been craving this cheesy Turkish dessert for weeks and we were looking forward to finally getting our fix at Yosma. Imagine our disappointment when the waiter informed us that they do not serve kunafa until after 5pm. Admittedly, the onus was on us for making the assumption that it would be available. We ended up at Sofra in St Christopher’s Place instead after another failed attempt at a Turkish pop up in the same area. It took us three attempts, but we got our kunafa that day!
Overall, I felt like the food at Yosma wasn’t great value for money. The dishes had potential, but I’ve certainly had better Turkish food on Green Lanes in North London which is also easier on the wallet. The location of Yosma could impact its prices but there is definitely room for improvement.
I do feel that a restaurant should be tried more than once in order to make an informed decision and so I will probably return in the future. The dinner menu sounds good though there is some confusion around what is actually halal. The website and restaurant states that their lamb is certified halal, while the menu says dishes which are halal are marked ‘(H)’. Having looked at the dinner menu, there are a number of dishes that are lamb dishes, but with no ‘(H)’ marker. I’ve contacted the restaurant to clarify their halal status as this could be confusing for halal diners.
Update: The restaurant has replied with the following clarification: “All the lamb we serve is halal. Our chicken is not market as halal because we have both the halal and the non-halal option. If you would like to serve the chicken you must let the waiter know about your dietary requirements.”
Having asked for further clarification, the reservations team confirmed that all dishes that contain lamb are halal even if they are not marked ‘(H)’ on the menu.
Value for money: 5/10 (£27 total bill including service charge // £13.50pp)
Halal Status: All lamb dishes served are halal. Halal chicken dishes are clearly marked and if you would like halal chicken you must inform the waiter. Beef served is not halal.
Address: 50 Baker Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 7BT
Nearest stations: Baker Street (Bakerloo and Jubilee lines), Bond Street (Jubilee and Central Lines)
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Ruman eats a brownie a day, but only with coffee. She struggles to eat more than 2/3 of an adult size portion of food, but always has room for dessert. When not exploring restaurants, galleries or cities around the world, Ruman is a Marketing Ninja at Halal Gems, where she also holds the title of Chief Chocolate Officer.
Forever consumed by a mixture of wanderlust and FOMO, her interests include all things social media, travel, charity, photography and food.
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Reviewed by Ruman