Place: Angora Meze Bar, Cheltenham
Booking Tel: 01242 230 642
Price per person for a 3 course meal and 1/2 a bottle of wine: £25 incl. tip.
Good for: Meeting with friends / students
Dress code: Casual
Pro's: Good alternative to places like La Tasca when looking for small dishes to share with friends over a bottle of wine / very reasonably priced (currently running a £15 per person for two or more, set 3 course menu offer, excl. drinks - see website for details).
Con's: Very quiet / the wine list could be a little more extensive / a little out of the way (opposite JJ's on Albion Street).
Rating: 3.6 out of 5
Read on for full review...
Sunday nights are generally spent with the Cheltenham gang, recovering from a hectic weekend over a couple of bottles of wine and some restorative nosh! Last Sunday four of us met at the Angora Meze Bar in Cheltenham, which is a family run Turkish restaurant. Admittedly we were the only diners during the 2 hours we were there, however the food was surprisingly good quality, full of flavour and very reasonably priced. The staff were extremely attentive and the chef even helped to bring the dishes to the table, whilst constantly checking to make sure that everything was okay.
To start we went for a selection of hot and cold meze, which included Ezme (a chopped tomato, parsley and walnut dish with spices), fasulye pilake (white beans in tomato sauce) and grilled sebze (aubergine and courgette brushed with olive oil and served with garlic yogurt). The meze were served with plenty of pitta bread and washed down with a bottle of the house red. All of the dishes were as described on the menu. The Ezme was a little unusual, as the chopped walnuts gave the dish a strange texture, however everyone enjoyed the starters and there was nothing left when the waiter came to clear the plates away (always a good sign)!
We all selected a different main course. I originally enquired about the fish of the day, however the chef advised that there was no fresh fish available due to it being a Sunday and their deliveries being in the week (nice to know that they only like to serve fresh fish). Instead I went for the Iskender Kebab which was described as thinly sliced lamb, served over tomato sauce on pitta bread with a portion of yogurt. When the dish came out the lamb was actually more like rolls of minced lamb, similar to how they would be if they were cooked on a skewer. Despite not being what I had expected, the lamb was well spiced and the tomato sauce made a great accompaniment to the lamb. A generous dollop of yogurt on the side, the soft doughy pitta underneath and an extra bonus in a small portion of rice (which was not stated in the menu description) made this dish really well balanced and filling. Overall highly recommended. The rest of the group went for a lamb shish kebab, a chicken shish kebab and a turkish pizza of ground lamb and chopped vegetables. The pizza was easily enough for two to share, as is came sliced into four pieces that hung over the edges of the plate. The base was very thin, however the pizza was still filling and as a group we did not manage to finish what our friend could not manage to eat! The shish kebabs were well cooked and the meat was tender. Overall the main courses were like the starters, full of flavour and well prepared and washed down with another bottle of the house red ;-) !!
Despite being rather full from the starters and main courses, we decided it would be a crying shame not to complete the experience and sample the home made baklava dessert! We were not disappointed, it was well worth trying and made a great finish to an enjoyable meal.
Overall the meal was good and the staff were friendly and attentive. The only areas that pulled down my rating were the wine list (which was limited to one type of each colour) and the setting being a little lacking in atmosphere, due to the restaurant being so empty (however this may be different if you went in after 9pm). I will definitely be revisiting soon, so my husband can sample the yummy kebabs!