Pera Okabashi, North Finchley

As part of our business (Atelier Eura) back in September 2013 we purchased a property in North Finchley, an area of London unknown to us, at the time, full of charm and opportunities.

North Finchley is one of those places where the scars of the philosophies that drove the sixties and seventies in the UK have left a permanent mark.

A leafy suburbia context with a small shops high street compressed between a rather new 15 storey tower sitting over a double height ground floor that serves a a bus depot surrounded by a series of  impersonal office buildings with no relationship with the surrounding ground floor .

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Visiting the area for the first time leaves you full of questions about purpose, bulk and massing. It also leaves you wonder if the planning authorities considered pedestrian flows when planning the development of sites along its main artery.

In the middle of this context , or rather on the northern end, one can find Pera, a Turkish grill of Okabashi where we had observed many families regularly attended to enjoy a rather big menu.

From the outside, the restaurant is unpretentious , but inside is warm and welcoming. The service is extremely attentive too.

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We ordered a mixed grilled platter and a chicken babaganush (grilled aubergine ), but as any good Turkish restaurant, we were greeted with a dish of lovely healthy  Mediterranean snacks.

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The second treat was a dish of  caramelised grilled onions served with a sweet vinaigrette which were quite delicious.

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Then they came the dishes, accompanied with the typical salad.

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The babaganush came in a hot plate with the classic creamy roasted aubergine in the bottom and deliciously smokey grilled chicken on the top. It was delicious.

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The grilled meats platter was as delicious. Accompanied by two types of rice was cooked to perfection.

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The fact that they serve both chili sauce (harissa) and a Yogurt garlic sauce with it was a bonus, but both were also delicious. The harissa specially, mixed with finely chopped carrots.

I am hardly surprised of the popularity of this place and I think that we will definitely return.

Photographs by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate (Apologies but I only had my phone with me)
Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

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