Turkish Anatolian cuisine with a touch of class
by John Whelan
33 The Cut
Waterloo SE1 8LF
Tel: 0207 928 1444
TAS is a bright and lively restaurant on the South Bank across the road from the Young Vic. It is a favourite of many celebrities including Sir Ian McKellen, Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan.
TAS’s reputation rests on the quality of its food, attention to detail and customer care. My companion remarked on the crisp white napkins and very helpful staff who steer guests through the incredibly comprehensive menu. The focus is on staple Anatolian dishes, ranging from hummus and kebabs to kidney, lamb’s liver and moussaka. The bread arrives warm.
TAS has an excellent fixed price menu for £19.95 per person offering a choice of two mezzes plus a choice of main course; otherwise you can go a la carte for around £25 a head excluding drinks. The house red and white are very good. It’s worth noting that they cater extremely well for vegetarian and vegan diners.
I can recommend the courgette fritter which is very light and accompanied by a fresh cheesy and garlic sauce. I followed this with a mixed grill in which the meat was marinated beautifully while my companion had chicken and minced lamb kofte. Pudding was cheese pistachio, shredded wheat, white cheese, and honey syrup.
TAS’s popularity with a young professional crowd can be judged by the fact that at 7.30pm on a weeknight it was packed to the gills, so it is advisable to book in advance. Unfortunately, the weather on our visit wasn’t good enough for the front of the restaurant to be opened up to the outside world, but no doubt in summer this is a delight.
With Turkish décor with subtle lighting and traditional Turkish music playing, the restaurant’s atmosphere is evocatively Anatolian, and if you pass it by on The Cut it looks bright and inviting. TAS has seven other branches in London including in the City, London Bridge and Bloomsbury. It is a great supporter of Great Ormond Street Hospital, donating 25p from every bottle of still and sparkling water sold; when so many London families have had their children supported by Great Ormond Street, including my own, we should all be grateful for this generosity.