I used to drive through Green Lanes each morning on my trusty scooter (I like to live dangerously). Going past Gökyüzü I did notice that it was full e v e r y s i n g l e time. It was getting ridiculous. I found out why when I visited first time. Excellent meat, expertly grilled, with generous portions and good prices. A few months back they opened Gökyüzü & Kervan in Wood Green – closer to where I live and still great.
Lamb and chicken shish – the staples – come juicy, tender and in big enough portions. The rice is really well cooked too. You can’t go wrong with their shish if you are not feeling adventurous.
My personal favourite is the Sarma Tavuk Beyti. This is spicy mince chicken, grilled and then wrapped in lavash bread. It’s topped with tomato sauce, drizzled with butter (you can hear your arteries clogging shut there and then) and served with yoghurt and bulgur.
Platters to share are IMMENSE. Trust me on this, you will have to take some food home, I’ve never seen a table finishing it all.
Oh, by the way, a massive salad for the table comes with all orders so no need to order greens. You also get cacık (similar to the Greek tzatziki – strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers and garlic) and bread.
Dessert- wise I wouldn’t say it’s something special, even though their baklava is actual baklava, i.e. tastes of butter and has pistachios.
Do try their Turkish tea though with loads of sugar, it’s great after the enormous meals you will no doubt end up having there.
Do not mistake this for your average local kebab shop (plastic tables, dirty walls, tired staff). This is not haute cuisine (thank the gods of good food) but it is still a very decent environment to have a meal in. The restaurant itself, in the tradition of the Green Lanes Gökyüzü is done up in browns and golds and still has the (I guess) traditional huge counter with the meat on display. The Wood Green Gökyüzü & Kervan is a very very big space – upstairs being even bigger. They just added some lovely seating outside – great for all the Turks and Greeks who tend to smoke in between bites of food (yes, I know, I do it too when given half the chance). The staff are nice enough but I wouldn’t say amazing. The style is quiet and efficient.
Do not attempt a visit on a Saturday or Sunday. No matter how big the space it is always very hard to get a table. A nice dinner during the week is much preferable and it will be a lot quieter. Gökyüzü & Kervan also does not stay open after hours – so not the sort of place to go on a Saturday night after 2,000 pints of beer. This is good proper food, to be respected.
There we go. A local I can be proud of.
Disclosure: We went to Gökyüzü & Kervan on 13 May 2014 and paid for our meal in full. No prior discussion with the restaurant took place.
Gökyüzü & Kervan
183 High Road
Tel. 020 8888 1422