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Turkish fast casual eatery launches in London

OTE, standing for Original Turkish Eatery, aims to re-write the narrative on Turkish food in London with its newly opened neighbourhood Turkish Esnaf Lokantasi in the heart of Fitzrovia.

In Turkey, Esnaf Lokantasi are informal cafeteria style restaurants which cater for local tradesmen and workers on their lunch breaks.

The brand is borne from a passion to bring authentic home-cooked recipes from traditional family-owned Esnaf Lokantasi to London’s fast casual restaurant scene, serving nourishing salads, stews, mezes, pides - known as ‘Turkish Pizzas’ - and dips; with dishes for every meal of the day.

With a cafeteria style format, OTE invites customers to fill its signature moulded tray with four main nutritious components; a ‘base’, like Bulgur rice, a main - Taskebabi or Mousakka, a meze dip, such as Cacik, and a meze salad, like Antalya Piyaz.

Alternatively, customers can choose from a selection of set Esnaf boxes. Freshly-baked pides and a number of sides and extras are also on offer.

Flexibility of the menu means there are plenty of options for guests seeking vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or dairy free options. Food is available for grab & go, delivery, and there are a small number of covers for eat-in.

Set Esnaf boxes include:
Esnaf Box
- Taskebabi, Turkish beef stew cooked in a tomato and garlic sauce; Pilav rice; Babagannush, roasted aubergine with tahini and garlic; and Antalya Piyaz.

Kofte Box – A traditional Turkish meatballs recipe from Aegean; Pilav rice; Cacik, Turkish yoghurt with cucumber & herbs; and Antalya Piyaz, a Turkish white bean salad with onion and olive oil.

Vegan Box – Taze Fasulye, green beans cooked in olive oil; rocket salad; bulgur rice; and Hummus – chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice and garlic.

Istanbul Box<.b> - Vegetable Mousakka, Bulgur rice, Hummus and Taze Fasulye.

Fillings include Turkish beef sausages or kusbasi (diced lamb) – kasar cheese and Spinach & Feta.

Tugba Açikel from OTE commented, ‘Our mission is to re-write a narrative on Turkish food in London, introducing customers to Turkey’s delicious array of stews, salads, mezes, pides and dips, served in a welcoming and socially inclusive way.

‘Every day at OTE we serve a variety of freshly prepared dishes made with high-quality seasonal ingredients from Turkey’s diverse regions like Anatolian, Aegean and Mediterranean.’