Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Taste of Turkey: Saray Mangal

Jossi found this little gem of a place. She'd been telling me for ages that we should make some time to go out for dinner and eventually, we both managed to clear our calendars enough to fit in an evening of new food. Joss had been to Saray Mangal once before and had come away raving, so trusting in her impeccable taste, I was pretty keen to try it. Only thing was I'd never eaten much in the way of Turkish cuisine before and so didn't quite know what to expect...

The first thing that struck me was how colourful and lively the little restaurant was. We were greeted warmly and shown to a window table, right next to the counter which displayed all the food on offer. We could see directly into where the food was cooked and the chefs were more than happy to lean over the counter and help us pick our menu choices, explaining what went into each of the kababs. 

As soon as we ordered, a big bowl of delicious, warm, complimentary pide bread appeared, accompanied by two dipping sauces. We happily munched through it while chatting over our drinks. Joss had ordered a 'ayran' which is a yogurt drink mixed with salt and is apparently a national drink of Turkey, where as I'd gone for a slightly less exotic Fanta. I was soon jealous however when I saw how hers arrived, foaming over the rim of a beaten copper cup. 

Before long our food materialised, along with more of the yummy bread. We'd decided to share and so had gone for the 'special mix' which was a huge platter of chicken wings and chicken, lamb and lamb mince kebabs. This was all cooked in different spices and presented with a second (unexpected) platter of colourful salad and rice. 

We happily tucked in, chomping through the massive pile of food in front of us, before finally admitting defeat with only one lonely little chicken wing left on the table between us.We just couldn't manage another bite, no matter how much we wanted to!

 We ordered the bill and were shocked to discover that the entire meal had come to just over sixteen pounds which was a complete bargain, especially considering how stuffed we were feeling, the level of attentive service we'd received and amount of complimentary bread (which had just kept coming!). We left very happy customers and will hopefully be returning in the future!

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