Tag Archives: woking

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

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A Tale of Two Curries, Woking

Blogging’s taken a bit of a back seat recently, since my move down south life’s gotten in the way and posts have been few and far between; my last post being sometime in October. Even though there’s been the intention of writing, I’ve not really been in the right head space, so with a mini back log stacking up and with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations over with for another year, it’s time to do some catching up.

Woking town centre’s littered with chain restaurants, but there are independent spots around including a few curry houses. My continual search for the great and good of the independent food scene has brought my attention to a couple – namely Thali Thali and Bombay Night with differing levels of success, I’d heard promising things about some others, so on successive Friday evenings we found ourselves at Jaipur and Ray’s Indian.

Starting off with Jaipur – located on Woking’s Chertsey Road nestled amongst a hotch potch of businesses, where you’ll find deep fried chicken, tex mex, cheap pints, a few local indies, the bookies and the gym amongst other things. 

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After a disappointing curry at Bombay Night, Jaipur was a completely different affair and somewhere that we’d go again. With plush interiors and dim lighting, the food and service was excellent. Dishes came with prawns, chicken and lamb cooked till moist and juicy, sauces were thick without becoming cloying, subtle in taste as spices were used in moderation and overall had an air of refinement. Sundries of garlic naan and mushroom rice were also up to the task.

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For all the plus points, I’m still going to grumble about portion sizes and value for money, however I can’t winge about the food itself as it was all well done. 

Our second curry was at Rays Indian, a stones throw from the town centre and somewhere we’d walked passed a number of times as it’s on the way to the train station. A few months ago award winning Rays Indian came to our attention as part of Woking’s Food and Drink Festival, and the gannets that we are got our hands on some curry; it immediately joined our list of places to try.  Opening in 2013, their aim was to bring traditional Indian street food to the local area in a restaurant setting – an idea that’s been seen more this year than any other. 

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The place ticked a lot of boxes – relaxed, friendly and personable service combined with great tasting food. I could’ve done with double sized portions once again, however it was well flavoured and cooked on point. My adventurous side coming out again with an order of Keralan king prawn, and rewarded me with a delicious dish, juicy sweet prawns, the green beans still had bite and a sauce which could’ve been too sweet from coconut but was counteracted with the lime and ginger. Similar to Jaipur, I found the food more refined than some of our previous experiences in the town, 

Great news to hear that Rays Indian is opening a permanent street food stall in the town centre’s Market Walk, it may even be open now. 

Both Jaipur and Ray’s Indian I’d recommend for a tasty refined curry! 

Jaipur

49 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5AJ

Rays Indian

Unit 8 -10 Victoria  Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 7PL 

Ed’s Easy Diner, Woking

As far as I’ve noticed, the majority of additions to Woking’s food scene, which tend to be chains such as Bill’s, Las Iguanas and Carluccio’s occupy the town centre’s main pedestrianised street, unlike recently opened Ed’s Easy Diner which is found inside the town’s shopping centre. This could be seen as an unusual location, but with its eye-catching neon signage and interior retro 50’s look it’s caught my eye and it seems to have lured in lots of customers since opening. 

From the interior I could imagine being sat dressed up like the characters from Grease ordering a burger with everything on it and a milkshake, wearing a 50’s style dress with lots of petticoats and a neck scarf, all the while singing along to tunes from the jukebox.

  

It’s not often you see establishments advertising a gluten free menu that’s certified by Coeliac UK, VERY rare for those serving up burgers and hot dogs. It’s probably the only reason why we stepped into Ed’s because of the GF menu, my husband wanted to see if was it any good, could GF burger buns be redeemed or was it going to as bad as most of the others he’d regrettably tried before? Having struggled to find menus with GF beers, seeing Celia on the menu was more than a pleasant surprise and it also good to see food prices were the same whether it was GF or not!

Burgers are probably right up there for my husband’s favourite food, but a spanner was thrown into the works when the whole gluten intolerance kicked off! There have been times when he’s succumbed, knowing the consequences he’s eaten one anyway just to satisfy the craving, so when a menu advertises GF burgers he’s always gone for it! Now imagine when you think at last you can enjoy eating something without pain and discomfort etc, just to be wholly disappointed….well in most cases the bun’s are a real let down; dry to the point of falling apart because of its brittle nature. Damn you gluten for making bread so awesome!! The number of times the goods have been well below par, leaving one very deflated burger lover! I’ve even suggested the notion of a naked burger, but to him it completely defeats the object and takes all the joy out of eating one. I can see his point!

His Big Bubba’s bacon ‘n’ cheese burger came with a bun that was surprisingly spot on – soft, nicely holding its shape and actually tasted of something resembling bread! The bacon was crisp and patty was cooked well – they could make them a bit thicker though, as they’re a little meagre for the price (£7.75)! The American cheese to me looked like a bit plasticky, it’d be good if they’d take the time to let the cheese melt with a little steam and a cloche doing all the work.

I fancied an original fried chicken burger, it was alright but probably a little forgettable. The good bits – chicken was golden and moist, iceberg was crisp and it was housed in a decent sesame bun. Not so good bits: the chicken’s thin and a little flimsy, it was all a bit safe and that’s coming from me – who loves simplicity when it comes to burgers. To elevate it the burger would need a juicy chunk of meat and extras of which there are plenty to choose from, but at a quid a pop for each the price of a burger can quickly sky rocket if you feel the need. I’ve definitely had much better fried chicken burgers for less, such as old faithful Leeds’ Patty Smith’s Colonel Patty and Manchester’s Mumma Schnitzel’s Mumma Burger!

Maybe against my better judgement I’d topped my fries with chilli con carne, the fries were fine, however the chilli con carne was underwhelming and didn’t really add a great deal. Maybe as it’s a family orientated menu their trying to play it safe on the level of heat, but it needed more oomph and was lacklustre in depth and meatiness, rather than being a meaty chilli with a nice warming feeling.

Overall I think our experience was just OK, it’s great the GF buns do the job, but the food didn’t blow us away. The staff are friendly and enthusiastic, service was pretty good and I can see why family’s may want to go there, but with an extra beer and a tip we didn’t get much change out of £40 quid though, so as far as value for money goes I’m not so sure. 

Ed’s Easy Diner

Woking Peacock Centre
Unit 42
Peacocks Centre,
Woking,
GU21 6GD

So’s Kitchen, Woking

I’m very slowly working my way around Woking, trying to find tasty independents to get fed and wondered if there was a decent Chinese in the area. I’d seen a Chinese restaurant called So’s Kitchen near Woking train station and after a little research that was wholly positive I suggested going for lunch. Stepping inside it was kinda refreshing not seeing the traditional red and gold interiors and was quite modest in comparison. The menu had classic dim sum, a lunch menu with both rice and noodle dishes then an a la carte menu, no surprises to catch you out and all pretty standard stuff.

Lunch started really well with dumplings – tasty pot stickers filled with pork and prawn, nicely charred on the bottom and polished off in a couple of minutes. The ha gau dumplings were juicy, lovely and translucent, however I’ve had plumper ones with more filling.

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Off the lunch menu there was a pork and rice dish that my husband fancied, the pork was of the char sui variety and tasty, however the rice was very very dry, I may be wrong but it’s like the rice was precooked, left to go cold so it loses moisture then used for the dish. I know this is often a method used to keep the grains separate but it did seem overly dry. I was, as always completely predictable with my choice – beef ho fun noodles! If I’m honest unless it’s a full on dim sum affair, being a creature of habit it’s what I ALWAYS order; they were ok, no more than that.  For me, a great beef ho fun has a delicate balancing act between soy and oiliness – too much oil makes it messy, too little makes it bland and dry. Finally the beef should be tender and soft. I love the oiliness of the dish, but these rice noodles didn’t have the glossiness, were a touch dryer and not as moreish.  It wasn’t saved by the seasoning either as it was lacking, the beef was bland and had lost tenderness.

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Overall it was ok, saved by the dumplings which was the highlight and I couldn’t fault the friendly and efficient staff. It was a bit of a shame, especially after reading lots of positive stuff on the web, I should probably revisit at some point, probably for the dim sum.

So’s Kitchen

1 White Rose Lane

Woking

Surrey

GU22 7AA

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sos-Kitchen/127966857252270