05 Feb Minn’s Munchtime – Ev Restaurant
Waterloo isn’t exactly lacking in watering holes. For a start you have all the high street options in and around the station. Now I love a good reliable chain for ultimate convenience on those lazy days, but we’re all about supporting the hidden gems on this blog 🙂
Ev Restaurant has a number of locations around London under the Tas Restaurants group, each providing a slightly different take on Anatolian food from Turkey. These range from bars, cafés and restaurants, some providing private dining options, others specialising in dishes cooked in wood-fired ovens. The Waterloo branch of Ev (Turkish for ‘home’) is snuggled in one of London’s iconic train archways along a tree lined pedestrian road.
It has a spacious dining area with comfortable seats and a relaxed, eclectic décor where exposed brick walls juxtapose bright turquoise chandeliers. The musical backdrop of guitar melodies is accompanied by the thrum of trains overhead which I find extremely soothing (I often fall asleep on trains for this reason!). Lining the walls are shelves displaying Turkish products such jams, dried fruits and nuts, snacks, biscuits and a small refrigerated section with cheese, yoghurts and some meats.
The café has much on offer. There is a breakfast menu, pastries and cakes and a selection of salads and quiches. Drinks provided are the usual hot drinks (including Turkish tea) and wine for the more leisurely amongst us. I remember their baklava from my glutinous days, either in original sugary glory or with added pistachios. They will definitely sort your sugar fix!
During the day hot food is available, however I arrived at 5pm and it was already cleared away so I imagine this is breakfast or lunch only. If you wander through the arches you’ll find the restaurant proper next door which is great for when you have a couple of hours for some hot food. I will do a follow up visit here when the occasion arises so keep an eye out for that!
Back to the café! You can choose 1-5 salads per plate, I of large appetite obviously went for 5 (I mean, salads never look filling do they?!). On this day all the options were either vegetarian or vegan. To go with this I chose fresh mint tea, which tasted fab, you can’t go wrong with that. It was served with the leaves directly in the mug which made for slightly difficult drinking, I’d have preferred it in a teapot.
The salads went as follows:
- Broccoli, peppers, carrots, peas in a sour vinegar sauce – these were thankfully still slightly crunchy, not desperately soggy as can often be the case at the end of the day.
- Okra in tomato sauce – these okra were a paler variety than I’ve tried before, very soft and not thankfully gloopy. I love the addition of dill and sun-dried tomatoes, enhancing that Mediterranean feeling. Quite a light tasting dish.
- Stuffed vine leaves (‘dolma’) – very tangy with a hint of mint. These were the most substantial items on the plate and surprisingly strong in flavour. These are served 3 per portion.
- Humus – I used this like a sauce to bring the salads together. They offered bread which I didn’t take for glutinous reasons. The humus was soft, creamy and thick with a delightfully fresh sesame touch from the tahini. It wasn’t overly garlicky but don’t let that kid you, you WILL need mints after this 😀
- Mixed olives – another classic, very savoury and mellow. They seasoned the olives with a fragrant rosemary and fenugreek mix. I like that they were well drained and not swimming in oil.
I greatly enjoyed this combination of simple flavours which we all know work together a treat. For my taste it was a little over balanced in the vinegar department, it did feel quite acidic by the end. However I do think the bread would have helped as a softener of the sharpness and it is likely to depend on which salads you choose.
Always optimistic when it comes to food, I was overambitious with 5 salads. 3 or 4 would suffice, particularly if you’re heading back to work after! You can have these to takeaway if you so choose, though the room is so cosy you’ll probably want to stay.
I’m looking forward to trying the adjoining restaurant – if you’ve tried it, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Please give this post a thumbs up if you liked it! Thanks and see you next Monday for more Munchtime!
Rating: 7/10 An Ev for every occasion
Receipt: 5 salads £8.75, fresh mint tea £1.15
Nearest Venues: The Warehouse, 1901 Arts Club, Southbank Centre