We wouldn’t normally head as far as Leicester Square when it comes to dining out – but The Bosporus restaurant just landed in the tourist hot spot and was hard to refuse.
This international restaurant group is known for its high-quality traditional Turkish cuisine that doesn’t break the bank. Expect your usual favourites like lamb doners and all the grilled meats you can imagine – but these guys go far beyond that. In fact, their menu has got to be one of the biggest we have ever seen. They do it all, from breakfast up until dinner. And they cover food from a wide range of Turkish regions.
Either grab a seat outside on their newly refurbished terrace, overlooking all the tourists and buskers (with a cheeky shisha and some Turkish beer in hand) or head inside for a far more relaxed and private affair.
The whole interior is decked out with tiles, from top to bottom. It’s an escape from all things British in the central London location, instantly transporting you to Turkey.
As we noted before, the menu is especially long. Culturally, these kinds of menus are normal in the Middle East – where diners love having all these options to pick from. However, it can lead to that pesky choice paralysis where you just can’t decide because there are too many options. Thankfully though, the waiters know each and every dish on the menu and will recommend their favourites – or you can opt for some of the set menus.
And no matter what you’re ordering, be sure to kick it all off with their warm and cold appetiser platters. You’ll get six entirely different homemade dips with flatbread for the cold options. And the hot appetisers come in the form of fried parcels of pastry full of either melted cheese, meat and sauce, or rice. These are all traditional Turkish dishes which give everyone a good taste of what’s to come.
When it comes to mains; get around a mixture of grilled meats and seafood (especially the jumbo prawns) alongside some of their more special options. The Et Sote Beef dish is a massive pie full of beef, spicy sauce, and grilled peppers. They cut it open for you at the table, creating a spice-filled plume of steam which wafts across the dining room.
But the fun doesn’t end there. You can’t come to The Bosporus without ending on some traditional desserts with Turkish coffee (or herbal teas). And the best dessert has got to be the Kunefe, which is either served with Nutella or vanilla ice cream. This is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with shredded filo pastry, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup and filled with a thick stretchy melted akkawi cheese. The Kunefe is a must-have at The Bosporus. It has all the best things (cheese, pastry, sugar and even a few pistachios) wrapped up in one sexy looking parcel.
We were so glad to find a restaurant in Leicester Square that isn’t just catering to tourists. Already, The Bosporus is full of diners who already love their other branches in Egypt and the UAE. So be sure to check out this new central London haunt soon – even if it’s just to have a lunchtime meeting over shisha, wine, dips and live music in the square.
7-9 Leicester Square WC2H 7NA