BLINK and you might miss it, but try not to.

This fabulous little restaurant is smack bang in Durham city centre, but the frontage is small, subtle and unassuming.

It is fair to say though it punches well above its weight and, having visited a few times before with my family, we arrived confident we would not be disappointed.

This coupled with my nine-year-old daughter’s almost manic enthusiasm for Turkish bread and their cacik assured me we were onto a winner.

Despite her tender years, she is so fond of the cuisine she had her last birthday in a Turkish restaurant with four of her friends, which made a change from the selection of beige, oven-baked from frozen products we usually have at kids’ parties.

Aside from that, this eponymous eatery was opened in June 2016 by Joanne and Cengiz Akarsu, who are based in Willington, near Crook, but has all the authenticity of Istanbul gastronomy.

From the narrow entrance on Silver Street, opposite the Tesco store, you have to climb a staircase to the get to the bar reception and the main dining room.

It is decked out with wonderfully ornate patterned plates, rugs and lanterns, with pictures on the wall from the sun-drenched country, which straddles two continents.

Our visit was on a bitterly cold day in January, early on a Saturday evening, so it was nice to receive a warm welcome and imagine we might be somewhere with a kinder climate.

We were greeted by a friendly man who showed us to our seats and offered get us some drinks.

Before long my partner and I were sipping a cool half of Efes (£3), while the kids went for a bottle of Fanta. (£2.80 each)

The menu is diverse and crammed with terrific-sounding traditional dishes so choosing can be tricky as everything is tempting.

With that in mind, and a desire not to over order, we decided to share a cold mixed mezze platter, (£14.95) which came with a basket of beautiful warm Turkish bread.

The Northern Echo:

It included the essential cacik, a cool mint and cucumber dip; hummus; saksuka, which is fried potatoes, peppers and aubergines; kisir, which is walnuts, bulgur, peppers and celery; and stuffed vine leaves meaning we could all mix and match and share.

The dips were all delightful, though if there is one miniscule criticism I found the hummus could have used a hint more ‘oomph’ in the flavour department, and was a little too smooth. A bit more zest and a tad more texture and it would have been perfect.

On the side we enjoyed a starter portion of haloumi, which came out cooked perfectly on a bed of tasty salad, as well as some fab falafel, deep-fried balls made of chick peas.

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Both starters cost £5.95 and, again, we shared them all allowing us to get a taste of something a little different.

My other half does not eat meat so she was not able to enjoy the mixed grill (£19.95) I split with the kids.

I could go on all day about the Adana kebab, which is simply unbeatable when it comes to an authentic Turkish kebab, or the cubes of shish chicken and lamb, which are also cooked over a char grill giving them the most amazing smoky flavour.

But special mention must be made of the gigantic, juicy, lamb chop, slightly blackened on the outside and pink on the inside. Simply wonderful.

A side order of ‘homemade’ chunky chips completed the feast, although between us we did find room for the kazandibi and sutlac, both £4.95.

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To be fair, the kids were not too fussed by the milk pudding or the Turkish-style rice pudding, which made me to regret not going for the baklava I had been eyeing up on the menu.

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Still they did not go to waste, and couple of strong Turkish coffees served in charming silver cups rounded off a really lovely meal.

We went early evening but I have since spotted a great deal where they offer two starters and a main meal for under a tenner.

You really can’t go wrong with that.

I can say with some certainty that we will be back for more.


Silver Street,




Mon-Sat: 12pm-10pm

Sun: 12pm-9pm

Food: 9/10

Value: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Surroundings: 8/10