Double date night with a best mate was on the cards this week, on a school night meant an early dinner at Ephesus, the Turkish restaurant in Rodley. It opened on 2010 on Rodley Lane, the main route that runs through Rodley and serves traditional Turkish and Mediterranean food. I’d been a few times before I’d started blogging and had failed at a previous attempt to review it. Last time it was chocker so I resorted to getting a takeaway and eating it in the comfort of my own home, which was fine, but I didn’t get the full Ephesus experience. This place ticks off few important criteria – yummy plates of food and good value for money. No worries over car parking charges because it’s not in the city centre. I knew the last one was set in stone, but being a food blogger you’re always looking to see if the food was just as good the last time around and that the overall experience was as enjoyable.
As you step in you are transported to Istanbul with the traditional Turkish music in the background. My first visit came after a holiday to Istanbul where I’d really taken to their food, whether it be the kofta, kebab or Pide, I became a fan for life. Their menu has many traditional dishes and is divided up into starters e.g. hummus and sigara boregi and main course favourites like lamb kofte, Iskender kebab, moussaka and minced pide.
Date night for two had doubled to four (3 adults and a toddler), and on arrival we were welcomed into the restaurant. The staff were very friendly and immediately brought a high chair for the toddler. After a few minutes of perusing the menu I ordered the halloumi cheese to start and the lamb pide (Turkish pizza), one friend ordered the halloumi with a chicken skewer while the other chose falafel and lamb skewer. All pretty standard dishes you’d find on virtually all Turkish menus. As we arrived for an early dinner 4:30pm there was just one other table occupied, so as you would expect the service was swift. The sound of chargrilling and the smell of food coming from the semi-open kitchen was quickly making me salivate at the thought of our food’s impending arrival.
Our starters were brought over not long after and looked really good!!! The halloumi was charred lightly on both sides, perfectly cooked so it was for want of a better word floppy and stretchy. I always love the Turkish bread and the other accompaniments of yoghurt and ezme are just right for the dish. The ezme is wonderful with its spicy tomato and pepper salsa, both refreshing and zingy in flavour, really helping to cut through the richness of the salty, creamy halloumi cheese. I was told the falafel were very tasty as well.
My minced pide, to me is a bit like a pizza with a flatbread base and without all the cheese. It’s my usual at Ephesus. My first encounter with the pide was in Istanbul and it’s been a firm favourite ever since. Covered in marinated minced lamb with parsley and onion, herbs and with the same accompaniments of ezme, salad and yoghurt. A pide is a very tasty and filling main course, and I must have been really looking forward to it because to my surprise I managed to eat the whole thing, whereas I would normally be asking for a doggie bag.
The skewers were lovely – both the chicken and lamb were perfectly cooked, really tender and very well seasoned. There was the perfect amount of heat, well flavoured rice and a good portion size. A couple of minor points were mentioned, e.g. that the garnish was great, but identical for main course and starter so there have been more variety. Also less raw onion on the salad would have been preferred due to its strong after taste. When I think back I didn’t actually get any so even though its just the side salad, it’s components should be more evenly distributed.
Our total bill for 3 people including wine was £63 including, very reasonable. On the whole Ephesus delivered in terms of food, service and value for money!!
Ephesus offer an All Day Special of £11.99 for two courses Sunday -Thursday and is open 7 days a week, 11am -11pm.Ephesus 4 Rodley Ln Leeds West Yorkshire LS13 1HU 0113 256 1668 http://ephesus-restaurant.com