Mon—Fri 8am—11.30am, midday—3pm and 5.30pm—10pm; Sat—Sun 10am—4pm and 5.30pm—10pm (Sun 9.30pm)
This Turkish restaurant chain first opened in 2005 in Istanbul, quickly taking off across Turkey and many other European locations, before setting up shop just a short stroll south of the river in Putney.
The 80-seater modern café has a relaxed vibe with all the comforts of home. The earthy colour scheme reflects its roots with soft natural furnishings, warm timbers and authentic Turkish details. The large restaurant allows for tables to be spaced out so that you can enjoy a casual lunch with friends or an intimate dinner date without feeling the close presence of the neighboring tables. We were lucky enough to enjoy Kitchenette on a summer’s evening, capturing the last of the evening rays on their charming front terrace, which is in high demand on balmy nights.
The staff let you breathe and take your time over the menu. Our waitress had a fantastic knowledge of the food and was able to offer great advice in a personable way, which set an easy, friendly feel for the evening. Always attentive when you needed something, they managed not to be overbearing or make you feel rushed.
The chilled-out/holiday feel of Kitchenette invites you to start your dining experience with one of their cocktails. For a refreshing and fruity drink I highly recommend their statement cocktail — the ‘Kitchenette Cocktail’. The blend of gin and mixed berries topped with a splash of ginger beer is a great twist on a fresh summery drink. Or for a variation on an old classic, go for the elderflower, lime and apple mojito.
Whether you’re a wine, beer, or spirit drinker, they really do have everything to offer. Their extensive drinks menu makes choosing almost too difficult, but the waiters are happy to help and know their stuff!
We started with an authentic mezze selection. They’ve made it easy for you with a set platter for two — or why not create your own by mixing and matching a selection of hot and cold mezze? The falafel in particular really was the best I’ve ever had!
For mains you have a wide variety of traditional dishes from Istanbul as well as options from the grill or sea. As a vegetarian I was a little stuck for mains so opted for a starter and side, which was more than enough and amazingly tasty. My dinner date went for the Braised Lamb Shoulder and couldn’t stop singing its praises. Succulent, well-dressed and cooked to perfection.
I had been recommended the baklava and it did not disappoint: sweet and savoury, beautifully syrupy and complemented perfectly by vanilla ice cream and an espresso.
If you’re looking to experience some exotic cuisine this summer but don’t have the luxury of jetting off somewhere, take a trip to Putney’s new hidden gem, Kitchenette.