Turkish Cafe/Restaurant on Churchfield Road

Charcoal grill is great entertainment for our reviewer

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Kalinka Cafe Restaurant


136 Churchfield Road

Acton W3 6BS

020 8992 0333

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To be honest, I wasn't sure what to make of Kalinka which is on Churchfield Road close to the junction with Market Place. But a delicious plate of food at Acton's Food Festival last Saturday made me long for more, so we made our way down there on a Wednesday night to see what was hiding behind the windows.

Kalinka is a café, bar and restaurant and once you are inside you will feel as though you have been instantly transported to somewhere very Mediterranean. One side is a bar/café where you could sit and drink coffee and pass the time of day. There is also a small courtyard garden at the back. The other half is set up for serious eating with the charcoal grill dominating the back of the restaurant. Kebabs are attractively (though meatily - vegetarians take note) laid out in a chiller cabinet.

The menu presents a good selection of Turkish food. We started with Imam Bayildi - an aubergine concoction so delicious that its name means 'the Imam fainted'. This was a generous starter but I didn't faint, though I almost did when I tasted Kavurma - a wonderfully tender and delicious tasting lamb stew. This was outstanding. Other starters were Calamari - crispy and tasty, and my 14-year-old son chose Kalinka's chips which came sprinkled with melted haloumi(?) cheese. He was pretty thrilled.

Baskets of delicious, warm Turkish bread kept appearing on the table.

For main courses, my chicken beyti (minced chicken wrapped in flat bread with various salads) was delicately flavoured and I polished off the whole plateful. Chicken shish - diced breast marinated in spices came with rice and salad; and charcoal chicken - chicken breast fillet was grilled and served with fries and salad.

Portions are large but not huge, so although we enjoyed our starters there would have been plenty of food without them, or maybe sharing two. The service at Kalinka is excellent and what with the music, the bustling atmosphere and the charcoal grill as entertainment this is somewhere to enjoy freshly prepared, deliciously flavoured food.

Two courses and drinks for four came to £47.60. We were stuffed - and we will be going back for more.

Clare Gittins

September 12, 2008