Etci Baba is the new Turkish grill and steakhouse that’s opened on London Road, promising your favourite Turkish dishes, steaks, specials and added glitz and glamour.
When you walk in it’s hard to believe this used to be More Restaurant, they couldn’t be more polar opposites. It’s clear that a great attention to detail has been paid to the interior design and it stands far above anything else on London Road in terms of look and feel. It’s Instagram gold with neon signage, photo spots, brightly coloured furnishings, and with the large open kitchen as a big feature situated right in the middle of the restaurant.
One unique offering at Etci Baba is being able to add gold leaf to your steak or burger. Yes, you really can add a coat of gold to your dinner, for an extra £30, anyway. Is anyone doing this? For me it’s a little out of place. It reminds me of when Bankers Club opened on Friar Lane (remember that place?!) and I walked in and immediately thought, “nope, not in Leicester”. Or when the Queen Victoria Arts Club had their super duper exclusive members only bar. I’m sure gold leaf steaks go down a storm in Dubai or with Salt Bae in Knightsbridge, but on London Road at £65 a pop I’m not so sure. But maybe I’m living in a Leicester of the past, I’m very happy to be proved wrong. Will you go and order it? Please tag us if you do!
The menu offers everything you’d expect to find in a Turkish grill house, but with an additional and exciting looking steak menu. The steaks are available to view in the restaurant facing kitchen fridge, and for anyone choosing a sharing steak you’ll be taken over to choose your cut. It’s a nice step that isn’t available elsewhere in Leicester and should prove popular with the steak lovers in the city.
Let’s begin with the starters. The menu features a mix of traditional Turkish dishes, hot and cold mezze, and some surprise additions, including a burrata that looks excellent. For us, the real star of the whole meal was the King Prawn starter. The menu description didn’t quite seem to match the dish, describing it as in a tomato, garlic and pepper sauce, but in fact served in a garlic butter sauce (which was actually a brilliant surprise). That aside, it’s a beautiful dish and the prawns are big, meaty and a step above anything else. We’ve raved for many years about the king prawns at Chutney Ivy and these are the closest we’ve found anywhere else.
Onto the main courses and we both opted to sample the steak menu. Just to note that they do also offer a grilled fish selection, including a chargrilled fillet of salmon, which was my first choice dish, but unfortunately they didn’t have the fish selection available. The salmon jumped out as a great addition to stand out from other Turkish restaurants, but just check when you sit down if they have all dishes available.
Having taken a sneak peek at the cuts of steak we opted for a Ribeye steak and the Filet Mignon. Steaks come served with potatoes and your choice of sauce, both of which were lovely accompaniments. The potatoes were nicely seasoned and the sauces were flavoursome. It would have been nice for the steaks to come with either vegetables or salad, but these can be ordered separately from the sides menu.The Filet Mignon was a beautifully tender steak with a lovely flavour. Unfortunately the Ribeye steak wasn’t quite such a winning dish, with the steak significantly more chewy and not cooked quite as requested. The lesson… order the Filet Mignon.
Onto the desserts and anyone who follows Cool As Leicester on social media will be aware of the Biscoff obsession, so I’d clocked the Biscoff Cheesecake well in advance of arriving at the restaurant. To my heartbreak we were informed they didn’t have any cheesecake available when we ordered, but from the photos I’ve seen of it on social media it looks like it would worth ordering. They also offer a range of Turkish desserts including Baklava, Kunefe and Turkish Rice Pudding, or a nice selection of different soft serve ice creams.
After dessert you can also enjoy a free cup of Turkish tea, which is a pleasant way to round off the meal.
Etci Baba is without doubt a step above the other Turkish restaurants in the city. The menu offers more choice, the food is (for the most part) of higher quality and the interior is clearly one of their main selling points. Is it fine dining? No. But is it ambitious and taking a more unique angle on a popular cuisine? Yes. Of course, this comes at a certain price and being a step above means it’s also priced accordingly. Whilst we were invited for a complimentary meal, had we been paying, the bill for 2 would have been just shy of £100 (bread basket, 3 courses and a soft drink each), which places it at the top end of restaurants across the city.
London Road is emerging as a real foodie hot spot and Etci Baba has arrived to offer something new and different. Given the interior styling and menu price points, grouping it in with the city’s other Turkish restaurants seems misplaced. There are some opening niggles in terms of service, but with hospitality struggling with staff across the board that’s to be forgiven and we’d like to give a special mention to Danielle, who went above and beyond to check on all tables.
In summary, Etci Baba is an ambitious restaurant. The King Prawns and Fillet Mignon are top dishes. If you order the gold leaf steak please do tag us in. If you manage to get the Biscoff cheesecake please don’t tag us in, I’ll just be jealous.
Etci Baba is located on the lower end of London Road. You can view the full menu on their Instagram page.
(Also to note before your visit as we haven’t mentioned above, Etci Baba is a dry restaurant.)
We were invited to review Etci Baba and received our meal free of charge. We were under no obligation to write a review. As always, all opinions are our own.