Bi Lokma: Sip Sak’s New Fast Casual Concept
Turkish food is a mystery to me. I know my Chinese food, I know my Japanese food, I know my Italian food but if you ask me what sort of food they serve in Turkish restaurants, I would draw a blank (or I would just check the internet). So to change that I decided to go eat at a Turkish restaurant.
The (apparently very opinionated) Chef and owner of Sip Sak, Orhan Yegen, recently opened a new spot called Bi Lokma (on 45th btw 2+3rd). It’s a tiny Turkish restaurant with a very ambitious menu for a where all the food seems to be made in advance. There are soups, salads, desserts, over a dozen appetizers and over a dozen main courses. And the best part about the menu is that almost everything on it is under $10 with the exception of 3 items.
Trying to figure out what I wanted to eat was no easy task. I found myself staring (for a long time) at the menu. I seriously could not decide what I wanted to eat, they all sounded so good. Lamb doner platter, chicken kebab, baked lamb meatballs, baked chicken with vegetables, musakka, oh mine.
Bi Lokma is a fast causal restaurant. You walk up to the cashier, place your order, pay, grab a seat and wait for your food. All of the foods are already prepared so the server (on the day that I went it was the chef himself doing the plating) simply needs to scoop the foods onto the plates and serve them. Quick and simple. Also there’s a basket of bread on the counter that is self-serve- and who doesn’t like free bread?
I ended up ordering the lamb doner platter (I think Zach will be happy to know that the lamb was cooked on a vertical spit, thumbs up!) For $9.50 you get a tin box with lamb doner, rice, a side of red cabbage, bread (not in photo), cacık and a tomatoey sauce. I have to admit, it’s not a lot of food for $9.50 and I was still hungry after I finished it. But it tasted really good especially when you mix in the cacık and tomato sauce. The lamb was great and the rice was light and fluffy.
Not really satisfied with the platter, I made a return trip and got the lamb doner gyro ($7.50). This here was a different monster. Just a little shorter than my forearm, the gyro had only 2 things in it the flatbread and the lamb doner. If you are the kind of person that thinks that vegetables are usually just in the way this gyro is for you. Nothing but tender delicious lamb wrapped in a soft and warm flatbread.
Ultimately it is slightly on the expensive side (or maybe I’m just a pig and that platter is actually enough for 1 normal person) but they have so many things to choose from- and from what I have eaten, the food is fantastic. I think it’s worth the extra steps out of bounds to try it. And for the cheap people (like me) since you pay in the beginning you don’t need to leave tips.
The + (What somebody who likes this would say)
- Pretty quick at getting my food.
- Glad there is no veggies in my gyro.
- Meat on a spit, can’t go wrong with that.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- It’s a little too expensive for the amount of food you get.
- I’ll just stick with street meat, thanks.
- I’m sorry but I like a balance of veggies and meat in my gyro.
Bi Lokma, 212 E. 45th St. (btw. 2+3rd), 212-687-3842