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This Upper Street institution is so popular that three branches of Gallipoli have opened within yards of one another on Islington’s premier gastrotastic strip.

Gallipoli Bistro, Bazaar and Again all put their own twist on the Arabian theme and provide plenty of alternatives should the wait for a table at any of the sisters’ restaurants be unpalatably long.

The scene Gallipoli Again is the northernmost of the restaurants and perhaps the biggest. Greeted by a profusion of ornate brass light fittings dangling around the bar, and the happy din of chattering diners, it’s apparent that this isn’t a starched table cloths joint.

The grub The expanse of starters might be a tad daunting for someone unfamiliar with Turkish and Lebanese cuisine, but the alarmingly friendly staff are more than happy to guide you to something fitting.

In the spirit of journalistic thoroughness, we opt for the full meze, a starter comprising eight individual dishes. Of particular note are the lamb guvec and kofte, which all but sing in the mouth, such is the complexity of their flavours.

Our mains then arrive looking just as bountiful. The lamb in my shish is cooked perfectly: the outside of the meat is flame-seared and spicy, while the inside is melt-on-sight tender.

My dining companions’ meat musakka and 102 Upper Street Special, a multi-meat masterpiece, disappear with the unerring speed that only great food and a relaxed atmosphere can generate. And while you’d expect great kebabs, the full sea bream also proves a highlight.  

Behind the bar The wine list is a paragon of unpretentiousness with the most expensive bottle on the list just £24. The generally new world offerings are mostly around £18. The £17.96 Malbec is a must if you’re having lamb.

Bill please Starters from £3.25, mains from £9.25. Four can eat with wine for comfortably less than £25 per head.

Verdict How good would you imagine a restaurant in need of three sites within 300 yards to satisfy demand is? Yeah, it’s that good. 

102 Upper Street, N1 1QP  
cafegallipoli.com  
Tube: Angel, Highbury and Islington


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Gallipoli Again - review: Turkish and Lebanese restaurant in north London
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