Opening a 'Turkish brasserie' on Old Street among the scores of established take-aways is a bold move by Shish, the original branch of which is a hugely popular spot in Willesden. Admittedly Shish is pitching itself a little differently, as a chic, friendly restaurant where you can grab a gourmet bite in comfortable surroundings, rather than a straight take-away. On the evidence of our visit, the idea is catching on with Hoxton locals - the place was packed. The menu is broadly Turkish and Moroccan, but also offers changing specialities drawn from along the Silk Road. Essentially what you get is a fabulous selection of traditional mezze and some innovative grilled meats and kebabs offered open or as wraps. Vegetarians are also very well catered for. Our mezze were superbly crisp and fresh. Everything is served as and when it is ready so it's a good idea to have a few mezzes (at about £3) to keep you ticking over. Main courses were perfectly cooked and spoke of ingredients you don't find in many kebab joints. A marriage of Chicken, Prunes and Olives from the Mediterranean Shish menu stood out. It was a really tasty, satisfying meal, washed down with affordable beer, and we heartily recommend a visit. The trendy ambiance also makes it a great place to take a date if you can get past the stigma of "going for a kebab".
Shish have opened with a flourish in trendy Hoxton. There's also a packed downstairs bar playing Big-Chill-esque music and serving cool cocktails to the evident delight of the locals. Shish Hoxton has got off to a running start and deserves to succeed - the food was lovely.
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