Friday, 6 June 2014

Istanbul - St Helen's Road

No, I'm not reviewing the whole city of Istanbul, just the Turkish restaurant on St Helen's Road, which turns out to be a pleasant dining experience in the heart of Swansea.

It's in one of the buildings that always seem to be restaurants, but never seem to stay open for more than a few years, so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. However if their food is anything to go by, there is no reason it shouldn't remain open for a long time.

Nice and pink - you can't miss it!

I visited with a group of six, joining the table slightly late to find a mixed sharer starter had already been ordered. This consisted of dishes like hummous, Russian salad and a cucumber/yoghurty thing, served with a couple of baskets full of thick, but light focaccia. Very nice, but I had to stop myself eating too much to save room for the main event.

My appetiser and a nice cold beer

With the starter plates cleared, the waitress - very polite all evening I must add - brought us three big platters full of food which was shared around the table. It was essentially a sample of most things on the menu, split into three plates: meat, fish and salad.

The feast of meat!

The meat plate boasted a pile of flame-grilled chicken breast, lamb kofta, lamb chops, chicken wings and legs, another meat (I forget exactly what it was, probably lamb) and an array of very spicy chilis. It was all cooked well and had a delicious authentic barbecue flavour, with the chicken in particular proving very moist.

The fish dish was nice, containing a few fillets of white fish (it may have been cod, but I can't be sure...) and big king prawns, with various garnishes. The photo of the fish came out too blurry as I was fiddling with my camera settings all night, so I won't publish that one (...sorry). Instead here's one of the hefty salad!


Afterwards we managed to stuff down some Turkish cakes (similar to an Italian cannoli, but much sweeter) and ice-cream. Probably a little too sweet for my liking, but it was a nice way to end the meal.

There's not much to say about the decor, which is simple, but it allows for a nice relaxed environment. There are a few cosier tables towards the back of the restaurant, so worth booking those if you want a more intimate meal.

The cosier tables I talk about.

Like many restaurants I visit, it may be a while before I return to Istanbul, but I did really enjoy myself and found the food and service was great. Well worth considering if you are looking for somewhere a little different.


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