Oklava: A traditional rolling pin used to make breads, pastries and pides.
When you visit Oklava, you’ll find a contemporary Turkish restaurant pushing traditional boundaries. Chef Selin Kiazim challenges preconceptions of kebab shops, and creates dishes drawing inspiration from her travels and the diverse London restaurant scene.
Selin looks to her roots to give you a modern take on Turkish-Cypriot fare. Centre stage at Oklava is the kitchen-bar complete with stone oven and charcoal grill (mangal). Sit here and you’ll experience the theatre of the Turkish kitchen as chefs prepare your meal. Opt for a table in the softly-lit main restaurant and you’ll still catch a flash of the action.
Turkey is one of the oldest wine growing regions in the world. Oklava showcases a carefully chosen wine list that gives a considerable nod to the region, while always prioritising quality.
Knowledgeable staff are on hand to explain the menu and help you feel relaxed and informed about your choice. What’s more, Oklava puts a big focus on staff welfare, training and a fair tipping policy.
Meet The Team
Selin Kiazim found a love of cooking at an early age and draws inspiration from her Turkish-Cypriot heritage. She is passionate about communal eating and encouraging food discussions at the table.
Selin worked for acclaimed chef Peter Gordon at The Providores in Marylebone. She later became head chef at Kopapa in Covent Garden before taking up residency at Trip Kitchen in Haggerston.
Laura Christie looked after front of house at Salt Yard Group, including day-to-day operations and all things drink-related. The two met via Selin’s guest chef appearance at Salt Yard’s newest restaurant Ember Yard.
Selin’s vision for Oklava fitted perfectly with ideas Laura had for her own project and they have worked together ever since. They opened Oklava together in 2015.
Nick Mattinson is Selin’s right hand man. He studied at Carshalton College before working with acclaimed chefs Pierre Koffman, Sam Harris and Bruno Loubet. He met Selin during her time at Peter Gordon’s Kopapa and was an obvious choice for Oklava’s kitchen.
Oklava seeks to make tipping as fair and transparent as possible.
An optional 12.5% service charge will be added to your bill. This is transferred to a service charge fund, minus credit card provider fees for any card payments. No other deductions are made by Oklava.
All employees are paid above the UK national living wage. In addition, the service charge funds are divided between all staff in line with their pay grade and level. This method ensures a consistent liveable wage irrespective of quieter periods in the year.
This decision was made in consultation with our staff to enable them to more accurately predict their wage.
Payments made from the service charge are published to staff on a monthly basis to ensure transparency. Any surplus in the account is paid out in bonus form every three months.
Any additional tips from customers are left with the individual servers.
TURNER AND GEORGE
Turner & George sources its meat from small, independent farms. Every animal has lived a good life and is completely hormone, antibiotic and cruelty free. The finest, naturally-reared meat is selected from British native, traditional and rare breeds and dry-aged on the bone. The result is melt-in-the-mouth meat with a deep, distinct flavour.
MR OLIVE OIL
We found the best olive oil outside Turkey and it’s just around the corner in Clerkenwell. Mehmet Murat’s widely celebrated and intensely fruity oil is from his family’s olive groves in Cyprus and south-west Turkey. From this hidden gem we also buy wild oregano, green olives and pickled caper shoots.
MURRAY’S FRESH FISH
Richard Murray started out collecting oysters and farming salmon, then started a small weekend fish stall in Battersea. These days he supplies many London restaurants with the finest quality fish, direct from the coast. He has a strong ethical focus – all fish is either sustainably harvested or comes from well-managed farms.
Steve started hiding beehives on London rooftops in 1999. The resulting honey was so good, he quickly grew his bee empire and now also collects honey from beekeepers around the UK.
In 2002, father and daughter Ozcan and Zeynep Arca established Arcadia Vineyards to make natural wines reflective of the mountainous terroir of Northern Thrace. Their award-winning vineyards are sustainably-managed, and the hand-harvested grapes provide wonderful examples of low intervention terroir wines.
Büyülübaĝ is located on the Turkish island of Avsa where wine production dates back to the 1800s. 2005 saw the construction of a sophisticated gravity flow winery. Büyülübaĝ now produces Bordeaux-style wines with the most gentle winemaking methods. Its list of awards recognises the vineyard’s hard work.
After Can Ortabaş discovered vineyards more than a thousand years old at his Urla farm, he restored the area to its former glory. Traditional gravity flow methods produce a wide range of wines using traditional indigenous and international varietals.
Pasaeli is a family owned estate founded in 2000. The family strongly believes in the potential of indigenous Turkish grapes and wines that reflect the terroir of the Kaynaklar region (near Izmir). Selin and Laura discovered Pasaeli wines in a waterfront setting on The Bosporus and knew they had to have them at Oklava.