|A Turkish delight on the terrace|
Emma Brophy discovers the wonders of Andy's Restaurant
Before we begin, I would like to make it clear that I am in no way attempting to take credit for ‘finding’ this culinary gem. On the contrary , I will happily admit that it is I who have been the fool since the amazing Andy’s Turkish Restaurant has been literally under my nose for years!
To me the kebab has always been something my husband brings home very late at night and invariably after he has had far too much to drink. Therefore when he suggested that we have a late supper at the local kebab house my thoughts were a) he has a couple of swift secret ones and b) he thinks that after being married for so long, I’ve lost interest in being wined and dined – again I was the fool.
Andy’s Restaurant is situated on Bedford Park Corner close to Turnham Green Tube station. Established since 1965, Andy’s current owner, Ferruh Sarkaya, took over eight years ago from his friend. The premises, which is divided into a takeaway area and a two floor dining area that seats up to 70 people, is set for a major refurbishment in the new year. Currently, the restaurant is set out as two comfortable dining rooms on the ground and first floors with neat tables covered in starched white linens.
The menu comprises a comprehensive selection of hot and cold starters priced between £3.00 and £4.50 including mixed Meze, Biber Dolma (green pepper stuffed with rice, sultanas, nuts and herbs) and Sujuk (grilled spicy Turkish sausage). For the mains Andy’s Charcoal Grill offers no less than twelve different types of kebabs served with both rice and salad or home made sauce and titles such as Chiswick Kebab (made with filet of lamb) and Andy’s Special (made with chicken and lamb). The menu also offers traditional Mussakka, steak, lamb or chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes served with salad and French fries. Again prices are modest with the kebabs starting from £6.90 and reaching the heady heights of £8.90 for the special mixed kebab of lamb fillet, chicken, shish, lamb cutlet, kofte and kidney and the same for a sirloin steak.
The wine list is equally impressive with reds, whites and roses from Turkey, France, Chile, Spain and Italy priced from £12.50 up to £23.50 for a Domaine la Milliere Cotes du Rhone. Desert wine, cognac and other spirits also available.
Due to the lateness of the hour we decided, by means of phenomenal will power, to order only main courses. We were given complimentary bread and olives by our charming waiter to have with our Chilean Aresti Merlot (£12.50) whilst we waited for our dishes.
My chicken kebab was a true delight. Succulent pieces of subtlety marinated chicken had been cooked over charcoals and was accompanied by perfectly fluffy rice and a tomato salad. My husband, who by this point was looking rather pleased with himself for he rarely experiences being quite this much in the right, exclaimed (with his mouth full of kebab) “You know Em, you really should write about this place.” He was, at the time, enjoying the Andy’s Special, a wonderful mix of tender chicken and lamb pieces accompanied by a healthy dose of chilli sauce.
With our plates clean and our appetites sated, we were presented with a delicious platter of fruit to ‘cleanse our palates’. Again this was complimentary.
What we both loved about Andy’s was the laid back, effortless hospitality that we received from the staff and the refreshing unpretentiousness of the food. With a bill that totalled a little over £26, Andy’s also offered us great value alongside great food.
The restaurant has a minimum charge of £5.50 and they do not include a service charge which endeared us even more to our waiter meaning he got more generous tip for his excellent service.
There is so much more to Andy’s than takeaway kebabs - it is an unsung hero of a local restaurant about whose culinary finesse I will happily admit I was wrong.