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Restaurant Guide

Star Rating

* * * * * * * * * *


Urfa (formally Cinar)

18-20 St James St 

London, E17 7PF   map

Tel : 0208 520 2783

Although initially when Cinar became Urfa and there was a change of management it slipped slightly it has recovered and become the great restaurant it was before.

The food is excellent with very generous portions - unlimited bread and salad - gorgeous onion salad. Lots of options on the menu and delicious. I frequent this restaurant as it is such good value and always satisfying. 

Strongly recommend a visit! It's location means it doesn't get as many customers as it deserves.

January 2014

Hi - just a quick note re the most recent post on Urfa (previously Cinar). It seems rather harsh (portions are still more than I can eat, and are very tasty!). The real reason I write however, is that you are incorrect re delivery. They definitely do delivery, or else some random person turned up at my house last week and gave me food for no reason.  

August 2012

Cinar doesn't exist under that name anymore. It was recently taken over by 
new management. Since then, prices have gone up, number of items on the 
menu have gone down, portions are smaller, home delivery has been stopped.
So, you now pay more for less. A pity as this used to be a real gem in the 
heart of an otherwise uninspiring St James area of Walthamstow.

I'm jumping ship!

May 2012


At the time of writing the Cinar was a new restaurant to the area, billed as Anatolian cuisine - expect Turkish. Cinar (pronounced chinar) is a barbecue restaurant and meze bar. Forget those Sunday afternoon sausage-burning events - the food here is exceptional. The eating area is large, nicely decorated and the atmosphere relaxed, with very helpful staff. The hot meze starter was preceded by a complimentary humus and yogurt. The meze was deep fried and a little rich, but the humus and yogurt were very pleasant. Hot pita was served with every course, whether you thought you needed it or not. Despite the rather tempting sheep's testicles (always a crowd pleaser) we had the grilled sea bass, a snip at £10, and a sizzling lamb kebab (well, when in Turkey). Both were very good, the sea bass probably the best I have eaten, a real taste of the ''E17'' Mediterranean. Complimentary fruit was served along with a very reasonable bill. Highly recommended and fairly priced, there is also a rear terrace for those balmy evenings. Give the Cinar a try.

September 2008

Cinar is a reasonably new restaurant to Walthamstow (opened summer 2008) and occupies the site of the former Nat West bank near St .James overground station. It is a welcome addition to this side of Walthamstow market that at present holds few attractions with the exception of the International Supermarket, the Windmill Café, The Spice Lounge and the Bengal Curry House. St. Jamesıs Street has been rundown for years so itıs great to see a new business taking off. The decor is faithfully Anatolian and has a high-end tasteful homely/rustic feel with its own barbecue and bar. Exceptionally attentive staff who are only too pleased to help you, and greet you as walk in. Between us, we tried the lentil soup, kalamar (fried squid), Hellim (haloumi), humus, a selection of salads (Anatolian style) which were lovely, pida (flat bread), grilled kebabs, roast chicken and a barbecued sea bass which was perfectly cooked and fresh. The total bill was £93 between seven; this includes starters, main courses and drinks. Iım keen to visit this restaurant again and explore the menu further. The obvious danger is that the restaurant will be overlooked because its not central and not in the village, or will be perceived as a glorified "Kebabish" but Cinar is more than this. Itıs worth making the detour if you are curious to discover Anatolian cuisine for yourself. Cinar (pronounced chin-ar), as explained to me by the waitress, means the trunk of the tree ­ more specifically the part that is left behind when a tree is cut down.

Posted 3rd November 2009



We went here yesterday around 5pm. The staff were very friendly and the food was very good. They were kind enough to give us a desert on the house.
This is the second time we have been here, the first time was when they had just opened and we were not that impressed, but said we would give them a second chance, as they must have just had some teething problems. So glad we did. Will definitely be going back again.

Posted 12th January 2009


Urfa  Anatolian (Turkish)
La Ruga  Italian
Mondragone  Italian
Orford Saloon  Tapas
Uffizzi Italian
Village Kitchen  ModernEuropean
Eat17 Modern European
La Cafeteria  Modern Mediterranean
Forest Tandoori  Indian (Bengali)
Peking Chef  Chinese
Istanbul     Turkish
Dhaka Tandoori  Indian (Bengali)
La Hacienda  Mexican
Priya  South Indian
Shish Mahal     Indian
Chennai Spicy  Indian
Kemer  Turkish
Raja Tandoori  Indian (Bengali)
The Palm  Sri Lankan
Bengal Curry House  Indian (Bengali)
The Windmill  Portuguese Tapas




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