Ex­plor­ing the ex­otic world of ke­babs with class

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Scott Beg­bie

Tuck­ing in to a tasty treat ... in

Turk­ish style.

ONE of the plea­sures we food­ies have is com­par­ing notes on our favourite places to eat, usu­ally start­ing with “have you tried?” and end­ing with “you should, it’s fine”. Over the years, one place that has kept crop­ping up has been Nargile. It’s one of those city restau­rants that clearly has a loyal fan base. So, af­ter years of gen­tle nudg­ing from fel­low food fans I de­cided to give it a rat­tle and see what all the fuss is about, de­spite my sta­tus as a Turk­ish food novice. As Mrs B and I walked through the door we were struck by the at­mos­phere, chilled but friendly. The din­ing room had bags of style, with its white stucco walls and wood giv­ing a rus­tic air, rather than the ex­oti­cism I had ex­pected. Blame all those years of Fry’s Turk­ish De­light ad­verts. Then I had one of those rare ex­pe­ri­ences in a restau­rant ... a menu that had me on the clue­less rather than con­fi­dent side. There were a lot of pages of un­fa­mil­iar dishes that sounded great but I just didn’t know what would be com­ing my way. I love that. We de­cided to play it safe to be­gin and try the meze, a shar­ing dish with lots of lit­tle dishes to de­light your taste buds. It checked in at a high-ish £7.95 a head for a min­i­mum of two folk, but we were re­warded with a moun­tain of food. There was the creami­est, yo­ghurty tzatziki and fresh­est packed-with­flavour hu­mus for us to at­tack with pitta breads, drawn by their fa­mil­iar­ity. But the lit­tle chicken dish with its kick of chilli and the tuna with a per­fect crunch of chick­peas was equally fine and the beet­root and dill was a win­ning com­bi­na­tion. Then the hot dishes ar­rived, with suc­cu­lent spicy sausage that de­liv­ered a tin­gle to the tongue, and light pas­try wrapped around pun­gent feta. There was a riot of flavours go­ing on on our ta­ble, sharp, sweet, lemony, spicy, salty ... all of it fine. This was go­ing to be a hard act to fol­low for the mains. I had, once again, taken the safe op­tion with a shish kofte ke­bab. I must ad­mit that the thought of ke­bab shop of­fer­ings of this dish lin­gered in the back of mind, al­beit

FINE FOOD: Waitress Lili Nagy with meze.

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