By Justin Kim
Today I decided to check out one of Durham’s latest eateries, well I say the latest, all I know was it wasn’t there pre-Covid-19. My friend and I were craving West Asian food and decided to check out the Turkish Kitchen Meze and Grill. Located on Saddler street, right next to the Pizza Express, they caught our attention as we were initially headed to the tried-and-true Lebaneat, that we frequented pre-Covid-19.
The first thing that came to our attention when we opened the menu was their plethora of options. It wasn’t too much that it was overbearing, but it wasn’t too little, where you end up ordering a menu you aren’t confident in. The menu was divided into cold starters, hot starters, grill, house specials, fish, and vegan along with salad and sides. The price range was of a normal range for a restaurant, with most mains between 10~20 pounds. The item that caught both our attention was a dish called ‘KLEFTICO’. It was situated at the top of the house specials, which was one reason it caught our attention; however, the description was what sold it to me. “Slow-cooked lamb shank served with mashed potatoes”, and I’m sure we all can agree that lamb shank can hardly go wrong.
“The item that caught both our attention was a dish called ‘KLEFTICO’”
We just ordered water for drinks, though it was a happy surprise when it was served with ice! Honestly, that was when I knew I liked the place even before trying the food. Such a small thing, yet, it is what lets one remember a place fondly. The service, thus, was nothing short of excellent, they kept asking if everything was to our liking, which I find is somewhat rare in restaurants nowadays as well.
When the food finally arrived, I have to say it was better than expected. Lamb has a quirky trait of easily being overcooked or if not handled properly has a unique smell that isn’t what most would call appetizing. However, this lamb shank was perfectly cooked, the sauce was wonderful and the mashed potato underneath perfectly complemented the flavour. Something I’m definitely willing to eat again.
Having visited on late lunchtime around 1:30 pm, I was able to enjoy a quiet lunch in comfort. It seemed like a good place to take your friends, perhaps even a date considering how calm the whole place was. The only thing that was a shame was learning that they apparently give Turkish delights along with the receipt, unfortunately, they had run out while we were there.
All in all, Turkish Kitchen Meze and Grill is a wonderful addition to the Durham restaurant scene that I’m willing to revisit anytime.
Photo: (header) Thomas Tomlinson , (food) Justin Kim