It was back to Dalston a couple weekends ago to try more Turkish food in that hood. It was snowing that day and we hustled our way up Kingsland High Street and I eventually pulled Blai into Şömine. I’d been wanting to try some of their homestyle food for a while though the waiter who greeted us first warned that we couldn’t get kebabs there! They must get that request a lot.
While still choosing between the five or six dishes on the steam table by the window, my attention was drawn to the back of the restaurant where I noticed two women folding pasta. Turkish manti! It was decided – an order of manti had to be part of our lunch as well as a dish from the steam table that came highly recommended by our waiter.
A huge basket of bread and a generously filled pickle plate came immediately to our table which I nibbled on while I watched the women make manti. Roll out the dough, slice it up into little squares, a dab of seasoned lamb mince on each and then press press press to form the unique little star shaped dumplings.
Their homemade manti came slathered with garlic yoghurt and chili butter and was fantastic. The bread came in very handy to mop up the butter and yoghurt and the pickles gave a welcome refreshing acidity to counter the rich yoghurt.
From the steam tray came the highly recommended vegetarian dolma. Peppers and courgettes had been stuffed full of seasoned rice – delicious but a little bit of minced lamb wouldn’t have gone amiss. Perhaps we’ll try one of their lamb dishes next time.
Our bill for this fine lunch came to £13. I hear that this can be brought even lower if we had stuck to their soups (I saw a man at the next table slurp up a delicious looking lentil soup) which still come with all the bread and pickles. And if you’re lucky enough to live nearby, they’re open 24 hours!
131 Kingsland High Street
London E8 2PB