Restaurant review: Noa, Upper Street, N1

Noa is a like an Aladdin's Cave in Upper Street

Noa is a like an Aladdin's Cave in Upper Street - Credit: Archant

»Noa is Upper Street’s best kept secret. The charming Turkish restaurant is hidden behind the front of a popular kebab shop close to Highbury and Islington station.

Walking through the barely noticeable back door of the small takeaway is like stepping through into Aladdin’s cave.

The place has been newly- decorated and is elegant with exotic artwork, fabric upholstered chairs, wooden screens and mirrors.

Drink menus come inside envelopes – which is a nice touch – and the menu features a wide range of Turkish dishes.

After we sat down, the restaurant dished up some olives and yoghurt with grilled bread as complimentary starters.

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We decided to order the chef’s selection of six hot mezze.

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Featuring humus, falafel, rings of calamari, salty sujuk sausage and fresh crispy borek parcel of parsley and feta cheese, the choice is a good way of trying a variety of different things.

We were also given a dish of saksuka, a plate of diced aubergine, potato, red and green peppers in a rich tomato sauce.

This moreish dish was a veritable smorgasbord of different flavours and textures.

We then ordered Sarma Beyti and Youghurtlu Adana as main courses.

The Bayti consists of rectangular pieces of char-grilled minced lamb wrapped in tortilla topped with tomato sauce and plain yoghurt.

The combination of crispy tortilla and juicy minced lamb are a great and delectable contrast of flavours.

However, the Adana kebab is the king of the menu’s many offerings.

It consists of kofte on a bed of crispy bread, dressed with yoghurt, tomato sauce and butter sauce.

The meat is succulent and contrasts brilliantly with the softened bread, which soaks up the butter and tomato sauce.

Despite being too full to do the mains justice, we rounded off with Kazanbidi, a milk pudding which often has a burnt caramel flavour.

Noa’s version was dusted with cinnamon and gave an interesting take on a classic favourite.

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