10 – 12 Crawford Street
Tel: 020 7224 2446
Date of Last Visit: Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Victim: ConAnn and a super-cute, super-sleepy and super-well-behaved Aidan.
The Damage: £15 each.
The Background: A couple of weeks ago, K&A described me as a "food for the people" kind of gal. This made me smile and I’ve since adopted the moniker when acquaintences and friends challenge me to a game of, "Yes, but have you been to <insert very expensive and possibly overhyped London restaurant locale here>?"
I don’t think great food has to be expensive. And I think every restaurant should be able to provide friendly and efficient service–being nice is EASY unless you’re a total idiot. Tap water should be provided without asking. Service should be optional. And if the loos are dirty, well then…what does the kichen look like? (Why why why do we accept toilets that are not as clean as the ones in our own home? Or maybe there’s something going on in England that I don’t know about.)
So when I met up with ConAnn for dinner near her place the other day, I told her that I just wanted to go a casual London restaurant with nice food and friendly service that wasn’t going to break the bank. Ishtar it was, and I couldn’t have been happier.
The Service: The service is so nice and friendly. They let ConAnn pick the table because she is a little worried that Aidan will get restless. They bring us tap water. (We did have to ask, but it is provided, no problem.) They give us suggestions on which main to have. (I am definitely leaning towards the mousakka, and our server confirms that I have indeed made a good choice.) There is Turkish wine on the menu. (I like the local stuff.) They come back and check on us in a non-annoying way throughout the meal. In short, they do everything right.
The Food: We get an assortment of appetizers to start. Hummous and pita and cucumber salad and yogurt. We both opt for the moussaka, which turns out to be meatless–I hadn’t realized that when I ordered–but it is really really good. Mouth-watering good. It had a great cheesy topping that was nicely broiled and crispy in all the right places. I seriously consider asking for the recipe, but well, we all know that would be useless given my talents, as well as the tendency of my smoke alarm to go off at just the slightest, eensiest, teeniest little WHIFF of fire.
The only thing that would have made the experience better would have been some free Turkish Delight or Baklava at the end of the meal. But that’s me, loving a freebee.
The Verdict: If I lived around Marylebone, I’d go here all the time.