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.
The high regard attributed to breakfast is reinforced by the fact that
every country in the world has their own interpretation of what it involves and
almost all of them make a big deal out of it. I found a very appetising article listing, with
pictures, top breakfasts from across the globe – I have bestowed upon me
the challenge of gradually and authentically working my way through the whole
list. Exactly how I’ll achieve this is yet to be defined.
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
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
buffet breakfast £8.95
This post is also featured on T-Vine magazine.