It’s no secret that breakfast is almost universally recognised as the most important meal of the day. Face contortions of disbelief ensue when people inform me they skip this turbo-thrust booster equivalent of the food world. How does one function on an empty tank, and more importantly, why would anyone turn down the chance to be eating? A notion I find difficult to digest.
Best Mangal has a few branches in London and its Fulham venue is an unassuming Turkish restaurant sitting at a junction on the main road. Glance at its façade and you could easily mistake it for another standard kebab house. But wonder on inside early on a Sunday morning and you’ll be presented not only with a heaving throng of Turks fully exercising their well-versed eating skills, but also a full on multi-tiered banquet of all things great associated with a Turkish breakfast.
The spread was fresh, colourful, inviting and abundant. Crammed to the hilt with many Turkish specialities, it had a wide variety of soft, creamy and crumbly white Turkish cheeses; glorious potato salad with parsley, dill and celery; beef and lamb salamis; posh corned beef; wafer thin bresaola type beef; brimming bowls of seasoned green and black olives; wonderfully oily roasted artichokes and piled high sun dried tomatoes; smoky aubergine salad; boiled eggs; preserves and spreads including rose jam, strawberry jam, honey, tahini and thick strained yoghurt; tomato and cucumber salads; fresh melon and grapes alongside dried figs, sultanas and apricots; metal containers full of hot and fresh boreks; piles of bread made that morning warmed at request on a griddle by a waiter to the side of the spread; and more.
The buffet is open between 10am - 2pm on Sundays at the Fulham branch only, and they do not take reservations - when we arrived just before 11am, small groups and full on family forces were already seated enjoying the pleasures of good food, good conversation and the consequential satiety with life itself.
And the best part of this whole experience? The price. £8.95 per head (drinks not included) for all the Turkish goodness you can gorge yourself on. I’ve never come across this type of format anywhere else in London, especially for breakfast; unlike other countries such as the US (who do this sort of thing quite well), it’s difficult to find quality buffet eating options outside of hotels.
A good time to arrive is between 10am – 11am. Even if the place is full, you’ll likely only need to wait for a few minutes to be seated. During the course of our stay tables frequently became available with a steady flow of customers both leaving and entering.
Needless to say, with its relatively close proximity to where I live, free bay parking on Sundays, and the exceptional value for money for what's on offer, I already know we’ll become regulars and I’ll be spreading the word to everyone I know.
buffet breakfast £8.95
This post is also featured on T-Vine magazine.