If you’re craving Authentic and traditional Turkish food then look no further, pop into Aziziye Restaurant. They are based in London and offer fantastic, Turkish food! Their amazing decor is like a mini Turkish Oasis directly within Stoke Newington in providing a truly amazing aesthetic atmosphere! Aziziye are fully HMC certified which is also an added bonus and no need to worry with regards to the method of slaughter Alhamdulillah!
The building of Aziziye is spectacular from the moment you see it. I was completely stunned by the beauty and the detailing of this architecture which left me in awe. You could tell that a lot of thought and planning went into the place when you see the exterior and interior of Aziziye, which made me eager to step into the restaurant and try their food. It really made me have holiday blues of when I visited Turkey last year, it made me want to go to Turkey again and that’s saying something! The buildings in Istanbul are quite similar to Aziziye, with the colours, domes and the blue tilings so they really have managed to make the place feel like a little bit of Turkey.
Aziziye are quite unique as they have a Masjid known as Aziziye Camii in Turkish. The masjid has a separate women’s facilities as well as an HMC Certified butcher. They ensure they get the best meat for the restaurant and they manage the whole supply chain. Just take a look at their beautiful prayer room below, which is located within the Aziziye Camii Mosque upstairs to offer your salah before/after munching on yummy food. Isn’t that a perfect combination? Alhamdulillah, that I have come across this restaurant who also have facilities for women too. I was soo happy that they offer this to the Muslim community, especially when you are a traveler (like me) who struggles to find somewhere to pray when you want to grab some food.
The interior of the masjid is just as beautiful as the outside, carefully decorated with verses from the Qur’an. The floor is covered with blue carpet whilst the magnificent windows fill the masjid with light, (or should I say Noor!). The masjid is designed in a way in which you feel the calmness of prayer, the colour of the carpet adds to that effect and it is not distracting. The room itself can fit a large number of people so you don’t need to worry about anything. Now you can offer your Nafl salah and avoid the usual excuses! I have to say having a place to eat that is HMC, ticks all the boxes including a place to pray is rare and this place really is perfect (the beauty of it is an added bonus).
This beautiful dome made me reminisce about my visit to Turkey (again!) and reminded me of the breathtaking dome in Sultanahmet mosque (blue mosque) with the intricate detailing, calligraphy and beautiful colours. The colossal chandelier hanging down delicately looked so elegant and created such a pretty setting. Islamic architecture is so beautiful! Subhanallah!
The Turkish booths reflect the culture of Turkey, you can see a glimpse of it in the picture below. One thing to note, the booths here are probably not best suited if you’re larger as they are tight even for someone who is slim especially the two-seater booths.
The ceilings throughout the place are light with Turkish lamps that are beautiful. Pictures definitely don’t do it justice but I love all the lamps and the beautiful colours
They also have a 5-star hygiene rating which is always a bonus because who wants to dine in an unhygienic place!?
On their website, it says they are based under Aziziye Mosque and have their own car park where visitors can park free of charge because parking is shared with the masjid, it is very limited. Parking on the street is available charged from 7am-7pm at the following prices:
Parking just by the place is £2.60 per hour via mobile or £2.80 via coins. There is a maximum stay of 4 hours which is more than enough time. There is no charge on Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Parking for the mosque is available with the gates opening 15 minutes prior to prayer time and closes 15 minutes after prayer time, however, those using the carpark must have a permit displayed. Those that do not will be clamped and those that will be parked on the side entrance will be towed away.
I have only managed to visit Aziziye once and found that the staff were rather rushed. However, I presume this was just a onetime situation and hope to visit again and I am sure the staff will be great. The only thing to note is to make sure to let the staff know if you need privacy particularly for those that observe hijab.
Aziziye specialises in traditional middle-eastern Turkish cuisine. Serving various foods such as Kebabs (they have cag kebab!), Turkish pizza such as pide, lahmacun, fish and burgers. They also make different kinds of hot and cold starters which are unique and different due to its Turkish cuisine, most are vegetarian-friendly. The Head chef at Aziziye produces his countries best and beloved dishes with care for authenticity and attention to detail. And now he is the first to introduce Cağ kebabı in London. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet him during my time of visit but one day I would love to meet him and chat about all things Turkish food!
For the starter we ordered the Hummus (3.50) – chickpeas blended and seasoned perfectly with a drizzle of olive oil on top and sesame seeds with garlic. The hummus was delicious. It is accompanied by a basket of Turkish bread which went really well with the Hummus. A good option for a healthy starter! I also really liked the other two dips on the left. One was a yogurt dip and the other was a tomatoey flavored dip. It complemented really well when I dipped it with my main food! The dips are served throughout turkey and took me right back to my holidays (delicious to say the least).
The salad at Aziziye was so flavoursome and fresh and we ended up with so much as it comes with the majority of dishes but it was that good we did not mind!
Kuzu Pirzola (£12.95) – Four pieces of lamb chops served with salad rice and chips. They were very nice and tender, especially, given the size of them one was like a mini steak. Next time I would request them to be done medium though but that is just my personal preference. The rice was fluffy and the salad tasted really fresh.
The 3 skewers of cag kebab we ordered were cooked in a classic way over hot coals on a rotisserie. Make sure you eat it whilst it’s warm to enjoy its true flavour. You could really taste the combination of buttery fat (as strange as that sounds it did not have a fatty taste) mixed with the meat. The smoke from the coal also added to the flavour.
Iskender Kebab (£12.50) – Adana kebab is bedded on special homemade bread with tomato sauce, yoghurt, parsley butter on top (made with doner when available) served with rice. This is definitely one to try if you know and appreciate your Turkish food or just want to try something new. I have to say I enjoyed the roasted cherry tomato as it was succulent but crispy.
Kiymali Pide (£6.50) – Minced meat, onions, tomatoes, green pepper, black pepper, in rich tomato sauce, bedded in thick pastry served alongside the salad. This is known as Turkish Pizza. This tasted really good (and wasn’t too meaty thankfully!) although we did have to add some seasoning (but hey maybe I’m just not a bland human). Be sure you eat it fresh whilst it’s warm to really appreciate it. If you are new to Turkish food this is definitely one to try as it is a safe option but tastes great.
Canned fizzy drinks are available including Pepsi, Diet-Pepsi, Fanta (yes, REAL FANTA NOT Miranda), 7up. ‘Fresh juice’ includes apple, orange, pineapple and cherry. Water is available either tapped or bottled (glass/plastic).
The final touch was really cute. The receipt arrives in a little treasure chest box just big enough for the receipt which is something I have never seen before. I have to say it made it seem nicer paying for the food! It’s such a cool idea, something that diners won’t forget about after they leave paying the bill!
Aziziye had a major cultural aesthetic and felt just like I was back in Turkey. It is beautiful both in and out. I have to say it was great not having to worry about finding a masjid and being able to pray and eat in pretty much the same place. The food was great and authentic. The food was fairly priced given there is nowhere quite like Aziziye. We all enjoyed our visit and would definitely recommend giving it a try. The highlight was the perfectly done cag kebab – a must try. Please do let me know if you visit and what you think of the food! Hopefully, you can help me out on what to try out next time.