Restaurant review; Clicia, N16

Clicia, in Stoke Newington Church Street

Clicia, in Stoke Newington Church Street - Credit: Archant

New team retain best of Turkish delight

Most people living in the N16 area will be familiar with Clicia.

A popular weekend brunch and boozy lunch haunt, its outdoor tables are packed with trendy young things and yummy mummies every Saturday and Sunday.

Its cheap and tasty menu also makes it a well-frequented evening hangout among the Stokie set, so news that it was under new management was sure to raise a few eyebrows. But worry not – the new owners don’t want to fix what wasn’t broken.

The much-loved menu remains resolutely the same – as do the chefs – and their main aim is to bring a new lease of life to the front of house.

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We popped in early one Friday night to find a few scattered diners and the place cosy with Turkish lanterns adorning the wall and general bits and pieces hanging from the ceiling.

For those who don’t know – this is good, honest, Turkish food; meze and grilled meats are the order of the day, although a few surprises – creamy mushroom chicken for example – pop up in the respectably long list of dishes.

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When in Rome, as they say, so we went for the hot and cold meze to start, a couple of ideal sharing platters. The latter included chunks of warm bread with lashings of hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki and so on, while the latter was littered with tasty, bite-sized chunks of squid, feta parcels and holloumi.

For the main, again unadventurously, we went for the kofte – an absolute monster of spiced marinated mince on a bed of that plump rice and a medley of garlicky, grilled vegetables.

In addition, the unimaginatively titled “chicken cubes” was in fact a succulent and delicious shish with the same tasty accompaniments as above. The homemade chilli sauce could have done with a bit more of a kick for me but was still satisfying.

So food-wise it remains a neighbourhood favourite, but have the new team succeeded with their mission? Yes. The service was unfussy, zippy and came with a big smile.

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