So, you’ve just finished an hour in north London’s noisiest snooker club and you’re famished.* What to do? While the eating scene on Green Lanes is getting more and more diverse sometimes only a kebab will do. Devran was recommended to me by my mate Muza as being the best Turkish restaurant on Green Lanes so I was happy to give it a go and see if it could surpass my usual haunt of Petek in Stroud Green.
We went in the early evening on a Tuesday so I didn’t get that authentic Harringay Friday night atmosphere of having to queue for a table and then barely be able to hear myself speak over the chatter of hungry diners and pumped up to 11 Turkish pop music. Which is a good thing. The Turkish pop was still there (but at a tolerable volume), the obligatory scatter of TVs were slightly diverting and a smattering of customers made for a convivial rather than a raucous ambience. On the walls Devran’s frescoes of scenes from Istanbul are less kitsch than some (I’m thinking especially of Rakkas’ grotesquely unerotic nudes) but still deliver a satisfying level of tack.
The menu has the full range of hot and cold mezze with mains from the grill. We dove straight into mains, rightly anticipating that we would get bread and salad while they were being prepared. The salad was fresh and the bread warm with a selection of humus and condiments on the side. The chicken shish was perfectly cooked with a good grilled spicy pepper and pilav. With an Efes beer to wash it down and prompt, friendly service this was the perfect way to celebrate a thrashing on the baize. And at under fifteen quid a head too. I’ve got about another thirty restaurants on Green Lanes to try before I can establish whether Muza was right but if there’s anywhere better than Devran I’ll be very surprised.
*What would Joe Davis have made of a snooker club where you had 8 televisions pumping out daytime MTV and a couple of Polish guys playing ping pong off the baulk rail?!
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).