In a Word:
Anyone who fancies revisiting their holidays in food form – or if you just like good home cooked food.
Over them there hills
It’s not often enough I get to travel over the hills to Yorkshire. Especially given my family is from that beautiful county. And even less often I get to do it via the Snake Pass in a sports car. An experience that left me much like a two year old who has just been swung around by their arms by a parent. Giddy, grinning and wanting to shout ‘Again! Again!’.
But I’m a grown up and whilst feeling these emotions, and sporting a distinct twinkle in my eye, I thanked my date for the trip and surveyed our destination.
Set onto a quiet hilly street – admittedly this was a Sunday afternoon, so hardly the hustle and bustle of a weekday – is Lokanta, award winning Turkish restaurant (the Good Food Guide are rather fond of it). What you may not know is that it’s the product of a holiday romance. Forget Shirley Valentine, husband and wife team Ruth and Faruk met while Ruth was on holiday and fell in love. So much so that she moved to Turkey and after running a successful beach side venue, they eventually set up Lokanta, bringing sunshine food to South Yorkshire.
We skipped starters and mains and dove in.
My mum always said ‘little pickers have bigger knickers’. She wasn’t wrong. Meze style food (or tapas or cicchetti for that matter) are a favourite thing of mine. Give me lots of little bits to pick at and nibble and I’m a very happy bird. Luckily my date was of the same persuasion. So in we went.
The taster plate was a great place to start. As well as the classics – stuffed vine leaves, cucumber and mint yoghurt and hummus, there was also a stunning pistachio and feta cheese spread (the recipe for which was written on the wall – win), aubergine and tomato salad and delicious stuffed peppers. Oh and all the freshly made bread for dunking as you can eat.
The courgette fritters were a delight to behold too – with feta and dill, these crispy, doughy dunkers were served with the ubiquitous cucumber and yoghurt. We dunked, dunked and dunked again.
Though we’d stuck with vegetarian options so far, the meat and fish beckoned.
Tender chilled octopus, cooked in red wine and served with sharp capers, spicy peppercorns and soft dill was first up, swiftly followed by a hot Albanian style lamb’s liver with onion and sumac. Two dishes not for everyone, but perfect for us.
A step away from the traditional were the pastrami and cheese parcels.
But they didn’t suffer for it. Hot crisp pastry, surrounded the meat and cheese – reminding me a little of a local restaurants cheeseburger spring rolls. But these were more refined, plenty of meaty flavour and the cucumber and yoghurt offered a cool contrast.
Our final savoury dish was a classic the world over – mushrooms stuffed with blue cheese. Piping hot from the oven, we left these til last. They’re a classic for a reason, soft cooked mushrooms, oozy cheese.
Of course, Lokanta offer shish kebabs, charcoal grilled meats and seafood. But we had little room left and though we were tempted – very tempted – we turned our tastebuds to dessert.
All of the desserts on the menu appealed – but two were a must try.
Baklava is a weakness of mine (don’t tell anyone, please). When it’s done well, like this was the crisp layers of sweet buttery pastry, are heaven. The ice cream was a great touch, almost watering down the sweetness, but I’d have eaten these slivers of sweetness again and again.
We were also attracted by the tahini pudding. That soft sesame seed paste is baked with apple into an intensely rich, sweet pudding, topped with ice cream. I loved this – but, and it’s a biggie – it was so intense, so rich, that we just couldn’t come anywhere close to finishing it. And we have big appetites. I’m thinking a smaller portion, a teeny tiny one, would be enough for even the sweetest tooth.
It’s definitely worth noting that as well as great home made Turkish food, there are great Turkish wines on the menu too. I sampled two and was very impressed. Worth leaving the car at home for.
And of course, there’s always Turkish coffee. With sugar or without, the Turkish delight to nibble on is something a bit special.
Fantastic service – yes it was a quiet Sunday, but it could have easily become that hovering, uncomfortable service that has me looking for the exit.
Value for Money:
With nibbles starting from as little as £3.00, it’s very good value. What are you waiting for?
478 – 480 Glossop Road,
Phone: 0114 266 6444