Sunday 8 September 2019

Ottoman Kitchen - Turkish Cuisine in Southampton

Southampton is awash with restaurants and eateries but we haven't had anything quite like Ottoman Kitchen for some time. I've really tried to rack my brains and I can't seem to think of a Turkish restaurant in Southampton where you can book a table, enjoy drinks and spend an evening marveling at the decor and of course enjoying the delicious food. My Mum and I were invited to review Ottoman Kitchen last weekend for lunch to experience it for ourselves and we had such an enjoyable time. 

Ottoman Kitchen sits within the old Woolwich Building Society on the highstreet, a Grade II listed building which dates back to 1866, it's a really beautiful building and one I've always wanted to go inside but it has stood empty for the last ten years. As you step inside you're met with flushes of blue, beautiful pictures of Turkey, high ceilings and the most beautiful chandeliers.

We were seated by friendly waiting staff and given menus before ordering drinks. The drinks menu has everything you could possibly want including a pretty great cocktail menu at reasonable prices. We ordered a classic mojito and a passion fruit mojito, both priced at £7.95 which is a welcome change as some cocktail prices in Southampton are extortionate. The drinks were delicious and served quickly which then gave us time to peruse the food menu. 

We were trying the lunch menu, a selection of cold and warm meze and a great selection of mains currently priced at £7.95. Once you see the dessert fridge you're bound to add on a little something sweet too!

For starters, you had the option to choose one dish from either the cold meze, all served with warm bread or a dish from the hot meze. There were dishes such as fresh Humus, Cacik, Baba Ganoush and Stuffed Vine Leaves or Falafel, Spinach & Feta Parcels and Spicy Turkish Sausage from the hot meze. 

We chose the Cacik which is cucumber, mint, dill and garlic mixed with natural yoghurt, the Baba Ganoush is smoked aubergine, a hint of garlic blended with creamy yoghurt and tahini and the Spinach & Feta parcels which are my favourite so I had to try Ottoman Kitchens. 

The dips were delicious, both full of flavour, not too heavy and just really bloody yummy. I could've quite happily just sat with my warm bread and Baba Ganoush as it was so full of flavour and like nothing I've tried before! I think I fell a little in love. I'd love to try the Spinach Tarartor next time which is fresh spinach in creamy yoghurt and garlic. The starter options are really great for a two course lunch and we kept the dips to go alongside our chosen mains too. 

There are ten options for mains, including four vegetarian options. You can choose from Chicken Shish, Chicken Wings or Adana Kofte and Vegetarian Moussaka or a halloumi wrap. My mum ordered the Adana Kofte, chargrilled specially prepared minced lamb on a skewer with rice and mixed salad while I ordered the Chicken Shish Wrap served with mixed salad and chips. 

You could really taste the difference in the meat from being chargrilled on coals, it just tasted so much better and was full of flavour. The portion sizes were also huge, I couldn't finish what I ordered and felt a little bad for leaving so much but at least I know for next time what I should and shouldn't order. I'm sure there's someone that'll look at my plate and think I could eat that no problem so if that's the case, you need to head to Ottoman Kitchen because you will thoroughly enjoy it, I promise! 

We did managed to save a little room for dessert though, we'd spotted the dessert fridge when we first walked in and there was no way we were leaving without trying something as it all looked soooo good! There was a choice of freshly baked cakes to choose from as well as Baklava which is what we ordered to go alongside our Turkish coffee. 

Turkish Coffee refers to a special brewing method, it's made with unfiltered finely ground coffee beans which is left in the cup when served. It's boiled with sugar or sometimes cardamom and served in a porcelain cup called a kahve finjanı which you can see in the photos. It's quite strong and is occasionally served with something sweet such as Turkish Delight which is what we had. I'm so glad we tried it but it was a bit too strong for me so Turkish Tea is next to try for me! 

The Baklava was delicious, possibly the best I've ever tasted. If you're not familiar with Baklava, it's a rich, sweet dessert made up of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey which also helps hold it together. The Baklava and Turkish coffee was the perfect end to our meal and we're already planning our next visit. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Ottoman Kitchen. Stepping into the building took you away from Southampton and into a world full of rich flavours, delicious foods and desserts. The service was attentive, food was served quickly and cleared away in good enough time leaving you ready for the next course and the food just surpassed all expectations. 

It's so great to see something like this in Southampton, it's a great alternative to the many chains we have in Southampton. 

It's always great to support those independents in the city! 

You can find Ottoman Kitchen at 36-37 High St, Southampton and make table bookings by phoning 023 8063 6826. 

Complimentary meal for the purpose of review - see disclaimer.
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