2 Ventry St, Belfast BT2 7JP www.turkeystreetfood.com
I was delighted when a work colleague recommended Turkey Street Food at the start of the year, claiming it was one of his favourite places to eat in Belfast. I’ve long been a fan of Turkish food, having been lucky enough to work and holiday there, so I had to try it, and it was off to a great start with a warm welcome from the owner Alper.
Since that first visit I’ve been back many times, but lockdown put a stop to that. Thankfully, like many other local food restaurants and cafes, Turkey Street Food re-opened with an adapted approach, meaning that whist you can’t currently sit-it and enjoy the hospitality, you can place an order for either delivery or collection.
Not living in Belfast, I went with the collection option, which couldn’t be easier. There was a number to text my order to, and the confirmation text provided paypal details for payment.
Like many food outlets at the minute, when I arrived at my time slot the tables inside had been rearranged to create a collection table close to the door. One thing that thankfully hadn’t changed was the warm welcome from Alper (at a social distance from the kitchen area).
For me, it’s hard to beat flavoursome mezes, and of course fresh bread. Turkey Street Food delivers well on both fronts with twelve mezes to choose from, a mix of vegetarian and vegan so great choice whatever your preferred diet. The red lentil kofte, a tasty red lentil paste with herbs and spices, and koz patican ve biber, a roasted aubergine and pepper salad, are long time favourites and did not disappoint as we dipped into them with the bread still warm as it was fresh out of the oven when I collected the order.
Being a small place, whilst there’s plenty on the menu including chargrilled kebabs and durums (wraps), it’s short and to the point. Having chosen the mezes to share as a starter, for our mains we went for a vegetarian durum and a Kuzu Sis, a skewer with tender marinated lamb dices. I’m told the generous portion of lamb, which came with rice, salad, grilled tomato, pepper and onion was full of flavour and melt-in-your-mouth succulent.
A turkish treat isn’t complete (that’s my excuse anyway) without something sweet with a strong coffee. The baklava, a pastry layered with chopped nuts and syrup, was rich and delicious.
One of the best things about enjoying a Turkey Street Food treat from the comfort of home? Not worrying about the food being too tasty to leave, as the leftovers were at hand the next day!