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Strut & Cluck, Shoreditch: A turkey is for life, not just for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 15:33 16 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:43 16 September 2016

Strut and Cluck's turkey shawarma

Strut and Cluck's turkey shawarma

Archant

Emma Bartholomew discovers a new passion for turkey at Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch.

The garden room at Strut and CluckThe garden room at Strut and Cluck

Bland. Dry. Tasteless.

Offer me any meat and turkey would have surely been last on my list.

But a meal at Strut & Cluck has upturned my naughty thoughts about the bird.

It’s another one of those restaurants trending in just one meat offering – following on from pig, chicken and steak variants.

Husband and wife team Amir and Limor Chen seemed to have been flaunting business insanity with their choice.

But the results are impressive and the menu is vast.

Taking inspiration from Eastern Mediterranean home cooking, they marinate the bird for 24 hours in their own spice and herb blend, then slow-cook to ensure tenderness.

The turkey meat is rich and juicy but not greasy. That’s no mean feat with turkey.

The Far East Middle East starter sees hand-pulled turkey in mini lettuce cups topped with roasted almonds and a smoky harissa sauce. It’s zingy and hot, spicy and refreshing - and one not to miss.

Mains are split into “on the bone” and “no bones”, and I was impressed by the novel and exciting ways to serve the East Anglian free-range turkey.

A huge charcoal-grilled drumstick is bursting with flavour, served up with a juicy roasted white cabbage, tahini and pomegranate molasses.

The sticky turkey wings smothered with harissa were chunky and actually worth eating – unlike its tiny chicken counterparts.

It’s interesting to make a shawarma from turkey rather than lamb - but it certainly works.

The menu is low on carbs and relies on the meat, which has a gamey, intense flavour and is never bland.

Accompaniment comes in the guise of a delicious charred cauliflower topped with créme fraîche. It’s delicate and lemony and comes whole or in half or quarter, which was plenty for three.

Veggies are catered for too, with an array of super food salads, from a nutty, citrus-scented roasted halloumi and beetroot mélange to the “Super Strut” with quinoa, brocolli and broad beans.

Amir and Limor come up with an altogether different taste here. It’s not too out there but it is refreshing in its novelty.

The restaurant in Commercial Street, Shoreditch, is bright, airy and light - bringing to mind a beach hut, with hanging baskets, lanterns, ropes and plenty of plants.

I’ve gained a new respect for turkey now, at least with the Strut & Cluck touch, and it goes to show this bird shouldn’t be restricted to Christmas dinner.

Strut & Cluck, 151-153 Commercial Street, 020 7078 0770, strutandcluck.com.

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