Kebabs worth missing the bus for!
Friday, 14th June 2019 — By Helen Chapman
Turgay Ustun behind the counter at E Mono in Finsbury Park
A FAMILY-OWNED kebab joint in Finsbury Park holds the secret to a kebab recipe dating back 37 years. Turgay Ustun, 30, who owns the business, says: “We use a traditional family-owned recipe with our own style. My dad, Celal Ustun, has been in the kebab industry for 37 years. I can’t tell you the secret recipe – we keep that to ourselves. But we marinate our meat in yoghurt and use lots of herbs.”
E Mono is tucked away by the bus station at the back of Finsbury Park tube – it’s home since 2015. “We are friends with a bus driver that has been working on the W7 bus for 16 years and he said he has seen so many businesses come and go in this spot, but we have stayed,” says Turgay. “It’s busy but difficult – everyone is always running for buses.”There is a branch in neighbouring Camden that opened nearly a decade ago and received rave reviews from food critic Giles Coren.
When the Tribune paid a visit, the Muslim festival Ramadan had just ended. Turgay, who was born at the Whittington Hospital, said: “I was working whilst fasting but by the time you are my age, you get immune to it. It’s harder when you’re younger. But for me, there is something about vinegar on chips. It gets to me!”
He adds: “Kebabs got a bad name from doner. We use shawarma which is fillet of lamb shoulder. In Turkish we call it ‘yaprak’ but people recognise the arabic work shawarma.”
E Mono is open from 11am to midnight Monday to Thursday and until 1am on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant can be found at 13 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2AL.
‘Youth club’ that’ll float their boat
A FAMOUS community canal boat is offering trips for children this summer. The Angel Boat is a charity operating the Angel II which takes thousands of young people and local groups on trips every year, including to the countryside via the canal, and receives funds from BBC Children In Need. This year Angel II is offering five-day trips to the countryside for 10 children and two staff for £350, where they will cruise the canal, stop off for activities and kayak. The boat trust has been offering the trips since 1976 and onboard has 12 bunk beds, two toilets and a shower. Current skipper Phil Gavigan, who has been involved in community boating since the 1970s, says: “It is about communal living and team work, communication as well as having fun. It’s almost a floating youth club.”
Flavours of the neighbourhood
IT was another chance for residents in Archway from all walks of life to sit down with the people they live alongside but rarely have the time to talk to. The International Big Lunch at the Elthorne estate saw residents showcase their cooking skills with flavours of the world and even those who don’t cook were able to feast with their neighbours.
Sandi Phillips, chair of Elthorne Pride, says: “There were lots of fun activities, music and games for the families and young people.
It goes without saying we were extremely thankful to those food providers and volunteers who contributed as many were up all night cooking.”