SHEESH in Buckhurst Hill, claims to be an authentic Turkish restaurant, but never having been to Turkey I can't say if this claim is true or not.
However, authentic or not the food is superb and the atmosphere is great, extremely noisy, but great.
Visiting the Queens Road restaurant on a wet January evening was almost as good as taking a short holiday.
My companion and I were seated close to the charcoal grill where the sight of luscious large prawns, juicy fat tomatoes, kebabs packed full of lamb, chicken and veg and colourful aubergines, made our mouths water so much we were tempted to have a second meal.
My choice of a starter was Yaprak Sarma - Rice stuffed vine leaves (£3.50) plus a creamy yoghurt sauce, was a really good one, they were well presented on the plate and the stuffing was soft and scrumptous.
My companions Peyniri Salata - Fresh salad with olives and feta cheese, (£5.00) was piled high on the plate and was as tasty as it was large. And, unlike in some restaurants, the salad didn't swamp the olives and pasta.
The starters were served with warm pitta bread, ideal for mopping up the yoghurt.
Not having a large appetite my main dish was the Cop Sis - marinated small cubes of lamb grilled on skewers (£9). The lamb - and there was lots of it - came with shredded carrot, onion, red cabbage and salad leaves. The salad had a nice crisp freshness about it, and though I decided on just the one plate of food, there was more than enough Cop Sis to fill me up.
Of course I just had to have a small taste of the Tavuk Beyti - grilled minced breast of chicken with garlic and parsley (£9). I am glad i did for it was extremely tasty and not too spicy.
My companion enjoyed eating the Tavuk as much as I had enjoyed eating a small taster.
A glass of smooth red shiraz for me and two Turkish beers for my companion and the meal was complete.
The staff were welcoming, efficient and friendly without being overpowering and for just £36.25 the food plus drinks proved to be good value for money.
We would have stayed for dessert but the Sheesh was so incredibly noisy we could barely hear ourselves think. This was a pity because having to shout at each other spoilt an otherwise perfect evening.
We intend to dine at Sheesh again, but at a much quieter time.
147 Queens Road,
020 8559 1155.