Tag Archives: Turkish

The Real Turk, Woking

Like many, my passions include food (obviously) and travel, especially combining the two where the country’s cuisine weaves itself into the fabric of a holiday. A few years ago we visited Istanbul and enjoyed the best of both worlds, with the city’s history, culture and great food heritage it was a great trip. 

In Woking, we’d walk passed an empty restaurant, which was difficult to miss being next door to our favourite post-gym breakfast! Then suddenly spring signs of hope with a new signage and menu in the window for The Real Turk. The place opened recently and we popped in one Friday, arriving early (6:30pm) we took the opportunity to sit outside, making the most of a rare sunny evening. Menu-wise, there’s always lots of choice with Turkish food, plenty of starters both hot and cold, of course lots of meat, but also a wide selection of vegetarian options. 

As there was just the two of us, I didn’t fancy a selection of mezze, much preferring it when there’s lots of you to choose a table full of tastes and textures. So scrapping that idea, we went for two favourites – fried squid and hellim, I never knew that was the Turkish/Cypriot for halloumi! I found the staff chatty and eager to please with service speedy throughout, bringing the starters within a few minutes. Both of which are relatively simple things to, but can be overdone with just as much ease. However, these were really good – my squid came with the lightest of batters, covering flesh that was just cooked through, needing little effort to enjoy. On the side, the accompanying tartar sauce wasn’t too strong and acidic, completely different to what you’d get on fish and chips, thankfully as I can’t stand the stuff!! The halloumi came thickly sliced, charred till soft and gave a good squeak!

I’d spotted photos on their meat platters on Facebook, thinking we’d be fully prepared for it especially after our tasty experience in Dubrovnik, but was still taken aback at its size; especially as there was also rice and huge plateful of salad to contend with! From the outset it was obvious we’d struggle eating it all in one sitting, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t any fault of the food!!

Full platter w/ lamb shish, chicken shish, adana kebab, chicken wings and izgara kofte 

There are few things which are more enjoyable to eat than well cooked pieces of meat and here was a good example of that, my favourites the wings and kofte. However, the inevitable happened which was great news for me, as I ate the rest the following day! I’m really looking forward to going again and trying something else off the menu. 

The Real Turk

75 Commercial Way

Woking

Surrey

http://therealturk.com

Turkish Delights @ Ephesus, Rodley

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.

Falafel
Falafel
Halloumi cheese with homemade bread
Halloumi cheese with homemade bread

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.

Minced Pide - lamb, with onions, peppers, parsley and Turkish herbs
Minced Pide – lamb, with onions, peppers, parsley and Turkish herbs

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.

Lamb skewers - grilled marinated lamb with rice, salad and homemade bread
Lamb skewers – grilled marinated lamb with rice, salad and homemade bread
Chicken skewers - grilled marinated chicken fillets with rice, salad and homemade bread
Chicken skewers – grilled marinated chicken fillets with rice, salad and homemade bread

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