New look Woody Grill now headed by next generation
I personally do not agree with advertising an eatery as Halal while selling alcohol – Hunkar Erpolat, Wood Grill owner
The opening of Woody Grill’s newest branch in Harrow Wealdstone last year also ushered in a new era for the long established London brand.
First launched way back in 1998 by Cengiz Erpolat, whose face represents the restaurant’s iconic logo, this business, as you can imagine, has been through thick and thin.
Having once managed eight venues across the capital, Woody Grill has since streamlined its portfolio to focus solely on quality of delivery.
The move has seen not just a marked improvement in management, but also reputation too, especially following the take over of logistics and operations by Cengiz’s son Hunkar.
Since having taken over the running of the business, Hunkar has worked tirelessly to raise standards across every aspect of the business and believes Woody Grill is now firmly on the upward trajectory.
These improvements are no better represented than four of his five restaurants today boasting a perfect five star food hygiene rating, and their brand-spanking new one currently awaiting inspection.
More importantly for Hunkar, Woody Grill is an establishment that prides itself at being fully Halal. “I personally do not agree with advertising an eatery as Halal while selling alcohol,” he emphasised, maintaining: “I hold strongly to this concept that no alcohol should be allowed when being fully Halal.”
Woody Grill's Unique Interior Blueprint
In fact, their latest addition isn’t just their biggest with 120 covers, but Hunkar points to its unique interior as the brand’s blueprint for all its other restaurants, both current and prospective.
Indeed, the first thing one notices is its sheer size and grandeur with a signage that’s popping, as they say, along with three prominent flower beds located directly outdoors.
This particular venue actually serves as both a dining hall as well as a fish and chips joint with the latter conveniently serving as a separate premises next door.
The first obvious thing when stepping in is how light, airy and spaciousness the place is, in spite of a large open kitchen that shows off a hooded charcoal barbeque stand, called an Ocakbasi, so quintessential of Turkish eateries.
Arguably the most eye-catching is one designed by a Turkish artist specialising in immersive wall murals who’s depicted a fully donned female bedouin leading her camel and flock of sheep on a desert journey.
A lot of thought has also gone into the finer details, with quirky and rustic light shades, as well as comfortable, turquoise coloured sofa-seating towards the far end of the premises with rugged, wooden tables to complete the effect.
Good Mix of the Traditional and the Modern
Woody Grill offer a menu whose authentic dishes are inspired by a modern British approach to gastronomy.
You can’t step into a Turkish Mediterranean restaurant not enjoy a selection of their freshly made hot and cold mezes.
To sample a good range, be sure to order their Hot or Cold Mixed Mezes for two, with the former including Grilled Halloumi, Borek, and Fried Calamari, and the latter Humus, Dolam (stuffed vine leaves), and Cacik.
Thereafter, it has to of course be their grilled variety, which cannot be better encompassed than by their signature Woody Special of perfectly charcoaled Chicken Shish, Lamb Shish, Lamb Kofte, Chicken Kofte, and Mix Doner with Mix Rice and Salad.
If you’re in a group of 3-4, then create some real excitement with the towering “Top-Pick”, the show-stopping Nisan Special, that’s literally a mountain of Lamb & Chicken Shish, Kofte, Doner, with Chicken Wings, Lamb Ribs, all served with Mixed Rice, Salad, Mixed Mezes and Bread.
With a number of specialities unique to the brand, their most popular is their Lamb Beyti which comprises succulent meat, grilled on a skewer, wrapped in cheese and lavash, before being served with tomato sauce and yoghurt.
And to complete the Woody Grill experience, order a selection of desserts which have to begin with the classic Portion of Baklava followed by either deep fried Tulumba or a Kunefe, coupled with a choice of one of their hot drinks.
In the end, this brand goes by a philosophy which ultimately defines their menu: “We believe that no dish can be better than its ingredients, and that the best ingredients are usually local.”
As he strives towards perfection, Hunkar has indeed put in place all the necessary ingredients to make Woody Grill a force to be reckoned with in London’s Turkish Halal food scene.
Sponsored by Woody Grill