After a shite review from Grace Dent and a glowing one from Jay Rayner - I thought I should check out the fairly new Turkish restaurant Yosma for myself. I always like to discover a potential new date venue, not that I’ve been on many myself lately (hello fellas) but because nothing says ‘spread the love’ like keeping my dear readers up to speed with great new date venues in London.
Yosma is a ‘Turkish methane, mantel and raki bar inspired by the streets of Istanbul’ on Baker Street – and despite the snob in me always finding Baker Street a bit meh, it’s far enough up to feel almost West End, with the convenience of being spitting distance from Regent Street.
We went for lunch when it wasn’t busy and decided to sit on a sofa in the bar area – the main restaurant area being quite open. It would be unfair to say it lacked atmosphere, lunchtime being a different vibe, in most places, to the evening, but regardless, who doesn’t prefer a cushioned seat to a wooden chair.
The great thing about a restaurant like Yosma on a date is the sharing aspect of the menu, few people want to be seen tucking into a huge plate of grub in the early stages of dating (excluding myself, hell I’m in it for the food these days) so sharing plates are a great way of eating without chowing down.
We chose the Ali Nazik - Lamb rump, oak red aubergine, yogurt, burnt tomato, utterly delicious and perfectly cooked, the Gavurdağ - Tomato, walnut, pomegranate, parsley, mint salad, again fantastic and a brilliant combination of flavours and the Börek - Spinach,feta, pine nut, mint accompanied by a Turkish Cabernet Sauvignon it made for an altogether pretty mouth-watering experience.
No meal at Yosma is complete without a dessert and the cheesecake is so good it’s borderline obscene. Literally a wedge of Turkish delight, rose, pistachio cheesecake finished with a sour cherry jam. The only risk being, it’s so effing delicious it may well leave you in danger of completely forgetting you’re on a date, they’ll pale into tepid insignificance in comparison.
Sure, Yosma does have a slight canteen feel to it, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t so why shouldn’t it be laid back? The food is excellent and honest, the prices are super reasonable for somewhere so central, the staff friendly and the service excellent.
It’s a great date place because it feels like a treat without being pretentious and, if your date doesn’t catch sight of the menu, if the quality, service and decor are anything to go by, you’ll get away with them thinking it cost a lot more than it did.
If it’s candlelight and cosy corners you’re looking for turn away now – if it’s good food and a relaxed, honest vibe you’re after, book your table, you won’t be disappointed.