I went for a meal at Ev, a Turkish restaurant which is part of the Tas chain, with my parents after my graduation a couple of weeks ago. In a completely out of character fit of madness, I had forgotten to eat anything before the graduation ceremony. I think I was distracted by straightening my hair. And trying to walk gracefully in heels. So by the time of our reservation at 6pm, I was absolutely delirious and positively famished (and had given up on the heels).
I would have eaten the tablecloth, or the waitress, if she hadn’t set down free bread with a yoghurt and dill dip when we arrived. The likelihood of free bread and dips is one of my favourite things about Turkish restaurants, they seem to just not be as stingy as other ethnicities?
Having settled my roaring stomach with free carbs, I ordered a baby octopus salad, dressed in pomegranate molasses, sumac, fresh mint and dill for my starter, much to my mum’s dubious amusement.
Great presentation (always hard to make tentacles look appealing), and the octopus was some of the most soft and tender I’ve ever tried - which was a relief, as I needed to prove to my mum it wasn’t going to be like chewing rubber.
Despite this, the flavour didn’t really hit me. This was a big bowl of octopus, and halfway through I got bored. I, Bethany Hopper, did not finish my starter. Quite a turnout for the books.
Oh and unsurprisingly, I dropped my first bite onto my very smart and lovely yellow graduation dress. But I can only blame myself, not Ev, for that.
My dad had these dolmas.
They look a bit like turds, but they didn’t taste like them.
For my main I had king prawns, cooked in a tomato sauce with toasted almonds, sour cherries, peppers and onions.
This was actually really tasty! I could have done with a spoon for slurping up all the sauce though. I hadn’t actually realised there were going to be cherries in it when I ordered, and not being a massive cherry fan I nearly cried when it came. But they turned out to be soft, not at all overpowering, and even quite complementary to the dish. Well done Ev!
Not completely sure if the prawns were frozen or fresh, but I’m leaning towards fresh. And the toasted almonds were a nice crunchy touch.
My dad had this lamb shank, which he demolished in the space of about three minutes, and gave the thumbs up.
My mum on the other hand, had this lamb, pepper and potato stew, which she ate about a third of over the length of about half an hour. And gave the thumbs down - too much meat of varying quality, and not enough pepper or potato apparently.
Although the food might not be crazy outstanding, the thing that really sets Ev apart is its location. Turn a few corners down a few nondescript streets from Waterloo Station, and you’ll find yourself here:
And hidden in this blooming green, fairy-lit paradise under the railway arches is Ev Restaurant, as well as an accompanying cafe/deli and a bar. On a warm evening (which we were lucky enough to have) it’s worth a visit for the surroundings and atmosphere alone.
Ev, The Arches, 97-99 Isabella Street SE1 8DA