Selin Kiazim has been "feted in various head-chef roles and since spent a period out of captivity building a devoted fanbase", says Jay Rayner in The Guardian. Now, in her first permanent restaurant, she's drawing on her Turkish-Cypriot heritage and adding "a few modern twists".
She may have gone back to her roots, "but she's done it in a modish, creative way", says Time Out. The small sharing plates combine bold southern Mediterranean cooking and Middle Eastern fire with splashes from other parts of the world.
The pide stuffed with short rib and a lively green chilli sauce "is not remotely for the feeble", says Grace Dent in the Evening Standard, and the chilli roast cauliflower strewn with roughly chopped pistachios is a must.
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Time Out hones in on the "gorgeous" chargrilled monkfish infused with urfa chilli, and the "brilliant" deep-fried chilli garlic chicken with a za-atar crumb.
"Turkish in inspiration but light, fresh and a million miles from the kind of thing we might presuppose," Oklava "owes nothing to the kebab shop and a great deal to Yotam Ottolenghi", says the Financial Times. But there's room for improvement. "The combination of small plates, all individually excellent, leads too regularly to repetition of a theme," the paper says.
And while there's no doubt that Oklava "has virtues", says Rayner, right now it's "a work in progress rather than the finished article".
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