Review: Pivaz Epping
PUBLISHED: 15:23 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:23 14 November 2016
The Hackney stalwart explores fine dining beyond the city limits
After becoming a mainstay amongst Hackney’s burgeoning eaterie empire, Turkish-focused Pivaz has opened another branch in Epping to similarly strong results. Whilst some might question the merging of Turkish grilled fare with classic European dishes, Pivaz seems to do it with aplomb.
The original on Chatsworth Road E8 excelled in both its remedial hangover breakfasts and also its succulent meat feasts. And whilst the Epping installment doesn’t offer breakfast, the sumptuous grilled lamb is very much on the menu. Diners should undoubtedly try the lamb chops, which helped to earn Pivaz the title of ‘Best Newcomer 2015’ in the ‘Just Eat Restaurant Awards’.
Similarly, Turkey’s answer to soul food, the Iskender kebab, is delivered to equally high standards. Pivaz also offers the much-loved regulars to start your meal, such as chunky stuffed vine leaves, grilled halloumi and baba ganoush.
In spite of its true origins in the kitchens of Turkey, the Epping branch of Pivaz has expanded its menu to include a comprehensive collection of European landmark dishes. Choice scotch beef steaks are complemented by a sensational variety of seafood, including a stir-fried octopus starter and an attention-grabbing lobster thermidor (its arrival at the table will likely lead to envious co-diners).
The most impressive thing is that diners at Pivaz can easily switch between Turkish and more Western starters and mains without the undesirable mixing of palettes, and sharing food works well across the dark wood tables.
If there is one tip you take away, it is that you must save room for dessert. Trademark sutlac (baked rice pudding) and baklava merge perfectly with a well-crafted post-dinner coffee. But if you’re still hungry, pairing a glass of floral moscato with a decadent orange crème brûlée or homely sticky toffee pudding will fill any lingering gaps. And don’t wait until the end of your meal to make a foray into the wine menu that includes a terrific chablis, or a cocktail selection that boasts some fairly wild concoctions devised by bar men amidst a horde of exotic bottles of spirits.
Arguably Pivaz Epping’s greatest allure is its fantastic décor. Colonial brasserie touches and tastefully modern tableware combine perfectly with a spacious restaurant layout. But it’s the lighting that leads the way; quirky yet warm, fittings contribute to a relaxed and homely ambience that ensures an extremely laid back dining experience.
With a unique menu that undoubtedly covers all bases for more particular diners, and an atmosphere that is retained even on a busy Saturday night, Pivaz Epping is an absolute must. Just don’t forget to book!
240A High Street