I had planned to go with a friend to a well-regarded traditional French restaurant that had graced London’s South Bank for years. But it had closed – something about a new chef – and was eventually due to reopen as yet another Thai themed eaterie.
So thinking on our feet, and knowing the area around that gallery is a bit of an eating desert, we hit upon Tas Pide, down a narrow street by The Globe and near Tate Modern. This was a mistake.
I had always considered the Tas chain of Turkish-inspired restaurants to be a good idea – a go-to place, cheap (especially at lunchtime) and comfortable with good sized portions if not inspired.
That may still be true elsewhere but Tas Pide was a major disappointment. I should have worked out that anywhere three quarters empty at lunchtime was a signal. I ignored it. My error.
I started with Patates Koftesi – Fried pureed potato patties, seasoned with tomato paste, coriander, onions, peppers, sumac and dill. Sounded good but it was just some fried potato with an impossible to work out and not very flavoursome sauce. My friend had DOMATES SOSLU KÖFTE Domates Soslu Kofte (£6.45). This is lamb meatballs cooked with fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and parsley – it was OK.
Pide is the Turkish version of Pizza. I had never had one before so I went for the Kusbasili Pide (£11.70). Billed as diced lamb with onions, peppers, parsley, walnuts, and oregano, this was a piece of virtually inedible pie crust with some tasteless mince on top. If this is typical, I can now see why Pizza has conquered the world and not Pide.
For her main course, my companion ordered Cupra Izgara (£15.30) or Grilled sea bream served with onion salad. Rarely have I seen such a sad looking piece of fish – anonymous, over-cooked and very overpriced. Yes, the onion salad was fine. As for paying £3.90 for a Broccoli and Carrot side dish, I dread to think what the real cost of this collection of over-boiled vegetables should have been.
We skipped dessert and coffee – and between us we had only drunk tap water and one beer. Including service, the bill came to £54.62. A lot of money to waste on poor food, poorly presented and poorly served (yes, that as well). I would struggle to give this one star out of five – but all too many sites which ask for your opinion do not have a zero star option.
The bill said “Thank you for your custom, looking forward to welcoming you again”. Not this diner, you won’t.
20-22 New Globe Walk
Phone 020 7928 3300
Nearest stations London Bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars