It was a friend birthday the other day and to celebrate she choice to have dinner at Kazan (city branch). A restaurant serving Ottoman cuisine that located near Aldgate and Liverpool Station.
My first welcome by staffs or what looks like the manager did not give me that good first impression. As a birthday surprise for the birthday girl we bought a cake. But the restaurant said we could not bring anything from another place and if we wanted to then let them know in advance. As the lecture went on that if any food poisoning it would be their responsibility as it would due to food from outside we bought and not there. However after all that they said it was ok and also would not charge as for bringing a cake that would normally occur (that reminded me of the policy at Benihana). I do understand the restaurant point but as a customer hearing about food poisoning did not give me much confident in dining at Kazan.
It turned out that another friend bought a cake as well. But as the night turned out the whole restaurant was filled with people celebrating birthdays. One after another birthday cakes was brought out, singing Happy Birthday that after you would not ever go out of tune.
We had booked to dine on a TopTable offer which you get 50% off a set 3 course meal. It is a fixed menu that was especially designed for top table customers, which said it would cost £30 per head. So with 50% it is actually £15 per head (excluding service charge).
Starter we had a choice of two different starter selection platter. I went for the seafood selection platter, which had a mixture of warm and cold selection.
The second course was a choice of 4 different mains that could cater for both meat and vegetarian lovers. We asked the waiter what he would recommend and it was the Kazan Special which majority of us had. This came served on a plate that was covered in a tall golden tin cover. Not too sure what it usage which my only guess is probably to keep it warm.
The Kazan Special was a layers of char-grilled chicken, lamb shich and kofte that is served on pitta bread with strained yoghurt and spiced tomato sauce. I am not too fond of yoghurt so glad it was just about to move on to one side for me to enjoy the rest of the dish. The pitta bread was underneath and became soggy bread, which you probably either like it or not.
Instead I went for the Fire-Grilled Poussin, which was baby chicken marinated with yoghurt, lemon and chilli, cut and grilled, served with salad and rice. The comparison between mine and that Kazan Special was that mine was definitely for a light eater.
I could not taste any yoghurt but you can slowly feel the spice from the chilli. The dish was OK and my preference over the other dished, but it was not something special. It reminded me of version of a posh Nandos 😛
The third course was a mixed fruit platter with mint tea and turkish delights. But with time not on our side as we needed to move to our next venue of the evening, we had to give this a miss. Instead we wanted to get to the important final course and that has to be the birthday cake.
We espcially ordered and asked the bakery to design this birthday cake for the girl of the night. I love the cake and hope the birthday cake did as well. A resturant staff brought it out with the dim lights.
Overall, you can have a good time at this restaurant with a few points to bear in mind – make sure you are not in a rush and if you want to bring a birthday cake let them know in advance to avoid disappointment.
The service was OK, we had a big long gap between our starter and main. This is probably why we had entertainment from a belly dancer. Yes this is one highlight because you could find yourself dancing with the belly dancer.