On a Saturday evening, we were in the area of Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho and we accidentally ended up going to Babaji Pide. We were there to watch The Exorcist in theatres, but before we wanted to get something to eat. Initially, we were going to go to Hankies Cafe, but unfortunately, they were full and we were told the waiting time would be one hour.
So, 20 seconds up the same path of the road, was Babaji Pide. We peeked through the windows, it was busy but looked appealing. An open fire pizza oven on display, with the chef doing what they do best, as customers were dining. The decor looked beautiful too. We walked in and asked whether they were halal and the waiter confirmed they were a fully halal establishment.
We were told that there would be a 10-minute wait as they prepared a table because they had a full house. Ten minutes later, we were taken downstairs and seated. It was a little darker, the decor was decent but it wasn’t the same vibe as you got upstairs. Nevertheless, we took our seats and ordered.
Pide – Afyon (A.K.A Turkish Pizza)
First of all, Pide, pronounced Pee-deh is a kind of bread made with leavened dough that’s flattened out with the fingers, which gives it a special shape. Pide originated from three Turkish regions: The Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Middle Anatolia. It’s supposedly known for it’s “rich” flavours according to the menu at Babaji Pide.
The Afyon Pide is a Turkish pizza with beef sucuk (sujuk), Izmir Tulum (a type of Turkish cheese), kaşar cheese, red chilli and parsley. Unfortunately, the flavour was lacking. The red chilli wasn’t hot enough and I found the overall taste of the Pide to be lacking flavour.
The sliced beef sucuk (sujuk), a spicy sausage, was decent, I enjoyed it. Same with the handmade bread, I thought it was great. But the overall delivery as a whole dish was disappointing. I wish they had served it with garlic sauce or some chilli oil, that would have made it better, in my opinion. The cheese was stretchy, it looked beautiful and tasted like mozzarella. We actually ordered this as a starter to share.
An example of a dish like that is the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese I had at Zizzi’s.
Babaji Pide’s Grilled Kulbasti
This is a grilled lamb dish, with cubes of oven-toasted flatbread, with a tomato sauce, served with a great portion of yoghurt. I did enjoy this dish but I found some of the flatbread to be really soggy because of the tomato sauce. Some pieces of the lamb were tender and some were tough and chewy. Overall the dish together with the yoghurt, bread and lamb didn’t really impress.
It was average. Again, I would have loved some chilli or a kick of something but this dish never really sold itself to my palette.
The Chicken Shish
The description in the menu said the chickens used for the shish were corn fed. Served with a flatbread and Carliston pepper (those green peppers you get in kebabs) and red onion. I believe they used the thigh or dark meat of the chicken for this dish.
It was very tender, moist and succulent. It did lack some flavour but I preferred this dish the most of all the dishes we had that day. The “flatbread” felt more like a tortilla to me. Overall my plate felt empty and perhaps I should have ordered a side or rice or chips. Once again, it needed some sauce or a kick of something to really be sold to me.
I left this place hungry after paying a bill of £36.50. I honestly much prefer Efe’s Turkish Restaurant over Babaji Pide. Another great place I dined out at, similar to Babji Pide, was a Middle Eastern, Palestinian Cuisine called ShakeShuka in Marylebone Road.
Overall the service was decent but not really attentive or great. Food was average but the atmosphere felt good. Although, the seating downstairs wasn’t as great as upstairs.
– All meats are halal
– Alcohol is served on the premises
– Family friendly
Location: 53 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6LB @babajipideofficial ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Babaji Pide also offers a brunch menu.
Babaji Pide (Pee-Deh)
Babaji Pide also offers a brunch menu.
Last modified: 4th May 2019