23 Jan Dilara
From the outside, it looks just like any other kebab shop in busy Finsbury Park. But for the past 15 years, Dilara has been home to London’s Uyghur pavilion, with zithers on the walls, naive tapestries and damask fabric covered with oilcloths on the tables. This is one of two spots in the capital where to dive into the protein-heavy specialties of the Xinjiang region in Northwest China.
Forget the Turkish dishes and basic street food, disregard the brick imitation wallpaper and go headfirst for: chochure (soft lamb-beef tortellini-like raviolis) floating in a rich spicy soup; silky handmade legmen noodles, crumbling under a tasty beef and colourful vegetables stir-fry, or polo wedding rice (meat and dried fruits). The manti (plump meat dumplings) and lamb kebabs are uneventful. No drinking fuss, pick between a soda can or a milky ayran.
Uyghur menu: £2-29
Turkish menu: £4.50-11.50