'A family-run Turkish diner in Lewisham has beaten some of London’s most expensive restaurants to be named one of the capital’s favourites - even coming ahead of the Ritz. Meze Mangal has been one of London’s best-kept culinary secrets since opening 12 years ago but that may be about to change after it was ranked higher than the Piccadilly landmark The Ritz, Barrafina, Whits and Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley on website TripAdvisor.
Only six London restaurants rank higher than its 95 per cent approval rating - Gordon Ramsay’s flagship diners Petrus and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, Michael Roux’s La Gavroche, Da Palo’s in Charlotte Street and Mayfair’s Goodman steakhouse, which between them they hold a small galaxy of Michelin stars.
Sahin Gok, 43, and his brother Ahmet, 45, came to London in the 1980s from their native north Turkey, at first working in a Wimpy in Kingston-upon-Thames.They opened their own kebab takeaway in Ladywell in 1987, which expanded into a neighbouring cafe nine years later. They took on the premises in Lewisham Way, St John’s, in 2000, at first living in a flat above the shop...
TripAdvisor has been criticised for allowing unverified anonymous reviews - a point not lost on those who ranked below Meze Mangal the online ratings - but Sahin took issue with suggestions that the restaurant was inflating its rating by asking customers to post positive reviews.
He said: “If we’d asked them to put reviews up they wouldn’t do it - people never do something if you tell them to. I only found out that we were in the top 10 a couple of months ago when one of the customers told me.”
Headline is a slightly misleading 'Kebab shop in Lewisham beats The Ritz for customer satisfaction on TripAdvisor' (it's definitely a Turkish restaurant rather than just a kebab shop) but good to see this great place getting some recognition.
And don't forget Meze Mangal has its own song too!