Troia offers the best in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine
Troia specialises in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine in a cafe-style setting with scarlet walls and mosaic lamps. It is an outstanding, well-established family-friendly setting close to the London Eye, the London Aquarium and other South Bank attractions familiar not only to locals but also visitors to London from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and beyond.
One special feature at Troia is a covered outside dining area offering what is called shisha in Egypt and the Gulf states, nargile in Turkey and Syria and hookah in India. The principle remains the same: it allows the intrepid to smoke flavoured tobacco as it bubbles through water. Shisha’s popularity at Troia is undeniable. Anyone using a shisha pipe usually sits away from other guests who are just there to eat and drink coffee or other beverages.
At the heart of Troia is a varied menu offering a wide choice of cuisine from Mediterranean favourites such as houmous, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh and imam bayildi together with calamari, brie and mixed mezze. The grill section includes lamb and chicken shish kebabs and chicken kofta. Then there’s steaks and the ubiquitous favourite for visitors to London: fish and chips. Casseroles, such as lamb moussaka, and seafood, including salmon fillet, are also on offer. Let’s not forget that Troia also does burgers, pasta dishes and a host of vegetarian options. The food on offer is backed up with a selection of fine wines as well as the popular Bira London brand of beer.
Troia is the brainchild of well-known restauranteur Ibrahim Dogus, who is also active in the community, especially on Turkish issues. Dogus’s engaging personality translates into making Troia welcoming for guests. The standards he sets are high both in the kitchen and front of house. Troia is popular for private parties; indeed, given Troia’s location just ten minutes from the Houses of Parliament, the restaurant was booked for a private function to celebrate the birthday of the current Leader of the Opposition. He can often be seen riding his bicycle along Belvedere Road.
It is easy to gauge the popularity of a London restaurant by the mix of communities who enjoy its hospitality and the way staff handle the odd crisis. I should fess up straight away: my newly arrived, heavily jet-lagged two grandchildren howled the place down, despite my attempts to placate them with chips. Troia’s staff responded with great tact and two fizzy drinks later peace reigned. Luckily, I am still a welcome guest, but I do admire those families that have impeccably well-mannered children enjoying their lunch or dinner at Troia.
by John Whelan
Address: 3F Belvedere Road Lambeth London SE1 7GQ
Telephone: 020 7633 9309