The Bookshop on the Heath has interesting books about Turkey in its windows. Never read The Eunuch of Stamboul, but according to this blog post, looks like an entertaining read. Apparently it was also made into a film in 1936, which can be viewed for free at the BFI’s Mediatheque.
Speaking of Turkey, Blackheath’s dabbling with Turkish food has come to a close. Not a huge surprise given some of the competition nearby. It was never a great place, as many of the reviews here have mentioned. Will Cote be any better?
As mentioned in a previous post, the restaurant next to Buenos Aires Cafe has turned into Fistik Kebab Brasserie. Leaving aside whether “kebab” and “brasserie” should ever appear next to each other, the food is actually not bad.
We went last weekend (Mrs Bugle and myself, plus another Turkish friend). The meze (hot and cold small dishes – not necessarily starters), were fine, and the kebab (I’m told) was nice too. The decor still looks a little unfinished in places, and they’ve kept the large-breasted statues that were a “feature” of the previous incarnation.
On the whole though, it’s a big improvement. The music was pleasant, gentle, slightly melancholic Turkish pop songs floating in the background, and if you sit looking towards the Bookshop on the Heath, you can see all of village life wander by. The service was friendly, but not over-friendly. We asked for Turkish coffee, but they didn’t have any – they promised that they’d get some in soon, but the espresso was fine.
The prices were reasonable – much cheaper than Chapters or Buenos, pretty much comparable to Pizza Express or Giraffe. It’s not the most amazing Turkish restaurant in London (Hazev in Canary Wharf or Tas Pide by the Globe Theatre are better), but it’s really great to have one in Blackheath. As it was lunchtime, we didn’t check to see whether they sell Rakı, but we’ll hopefully go back one evening to double-check. Wandering past the place today, it looked much busier than the previous restaurant ever did. I wonder if they’ll remove the dots from “Fıstık” eventually…
I turn my back for two minutes (one week), and the whole of Blackheath is unrecognisable… Well, OK, they’re doing up Gregg’s, there appears to be a World War One re-enactment of The Somme setting up next to Blackheath Cars, and the dodgy restaurant up at the top, near the really good restaurant has been renamed.
So, one by one:
Gregg’s isn’t being closed for excessive MSG usage, instead it’s being given a shiny new fascia. See this PDF at Lewisham council for all the gory details. No illuminated signs, and no mention of whether they’ll keep making Vegetable Slices (don’t tell Mrs Bugle).
Roadworks next to the station
At last, the mess next to the traffic lights appears to be getting better, but instead has been replaced by a massive amount of pipe-laying as you walk towards the farmer’s market.
Fıstık Kebab Brasserie Restaurant
Note the absence of dots above the “i” in Fıstık, means that it pronounced “er” as in “shirt”, not “i” as in “shift”. Fıstık means peanut in Turkish. It’s also a term of endearment used by men to women. I imagine it really isn’t something you’d want to find inside a kebab. More importantly, the conjunction of the words Kebab and Brasserie probably shouldn’t appear in the same sentence, and fill me (and Mrs Bugle) with apprehension. Time will tell!