Are you not tired of this gastro-nonsense sometimes that attacks us from every corner of our life? I am referring to the so-called gastro-blogging, food trends, artisan food and super creative chefs many of whom have long forgotten about the essence of dining. Food must be a few things but not trendy for sure. Do I sound extremely old-fashioned? Probably.
Food to me must be healthy, nutritious and delicious. And you must share it with someone. Sharing a meal you made for someone or that someone made for you is the real thing. There is no need to dramatize it. Good food is relaxing, it fills you, warms you up and makes you happy. When I go to a restaurant I find it difficult that I have to lower my expectations, for food there is nothing I have been used to at home. When I eat out that is usually just to help my body and mind to deal with daily life. It rarely provides the comfort I feel when I cook and dine at home.
From time to time though I find gems where I feel like home. The latest place I visited was the Antalya Restaurant near Russell Square. Its facade might look modest but when you step in you are welcome with real Turkish hospitality and you quickly forget about the outside world. Even a not so perfectly made meal can feel delicious if you are treated the right way. Thankfully here everything was on its place. Food, service and the atmosphere, all got five stars from me.
I had Islim Kebab for main, baklava for dessert and Turkish tea for drink. Islim kebab, a classic Turkish dish, is a fabulous combination of lamb and aubergine. I wish I have tried the place earlier. If you feel you are spoilt for choice and the menu looks confusing, then the lovely waitress is there to advise you and if you are in your chatty mood she is happy to talk to you about Turkey too. There was no fuss around service or food only kindness and artlessness. I felt relaxed, warmed up and happy.
ANTALYA Mediterranean Cuisine
103-105 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HH
Nearest Tube: Russell Square