Turkish delights to thrill the taste buds

For an elegant meal with authentic Mediterranean flavours, Zorba Meze and Grill ticks all the right boxes, writes Michelle Wood


A superb restaurant is all good and well, but if it is inaccessible, travelling to feast on your favourite indulgences can seem more like a chore than a treat. Zorba, however, ticked my first box: accessibility.

Conveniently situated on the corner of Upper Grosvenor Road, near the town centre, and literally within steps of the Meadow Road parking garage (should you have a need to travel by car) Zorba’s bold black-and-white signage, a cosy terrace overlooking the road (perfect for those warmer spring and summer days) are a beacon to the weary shopper looking for a shopping hiatus, or a spot to begin a night on the town.

Upon entering, my partner and I were pleasantly surprised by the contemporary décor and elegant charm. Greeted by our host, Manager Onur Sahin, the staff’s pride in their restaurant and its offerings was immediately obvious – we were treated like royalty. Hospitality: another tick.

Our meal began with cocktails: a passion fruit martini and raspberry gin fizz. The martini was the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, while the raspberry gin fizz offered all of the promises of long summer days, again perfectly balanced and with a clarity of taste. The barman clearly knows his business.

For starters, we ordered a sharing platter of hot and cold meze. From the range of mouthwatering offerings, like dolma – vine leaves wrapped with steamed rice, dill, cinnamon, blackcurrants and pine nuts – to fried mussels cooked with white wine, double cream, tomato and garlic, making our choices proved difficult. After much debate, we opted for hummus; tabbouleh (parley, fresh mint, spring onions and finely chopped cherry tomatoes); baba ghanoush (charred aubergines, skinned and blended with tahini, yoghurt, lemon, garlic and olive oil); deep-fried calamari served with tartare sauce; sigaro boregi (crispy tubes of filo pastry filled with feta and mint, served with a sweet chilli dip); and king prawns (butterflied and cooked in a sweet chilli sauce with white wine and garlic). As if that table groaning with culinary delights wasn’t enough, the meze are served with a basket of warm, fresh flat breads.

When it comes to flavours, Zorba can’t be beaten, and the meze is simply outstanding. Paired with a South African Roos Estate rosé, we indulged in a sensory feast of colours, flavours and textures, we were blown away by the crispiness of the calamari, the juiciness of perfectly cooked prawns, and the exquisite balance of both the baba ghanoush and tabbouleh, which we completed in its entirety, mopping up the remnants with flatbread.

In retrospect, the generous portions of the meze would have been more than sufficient, but there was still more to come. Again, we opted for a sharing main: a mixed grill for two. This comprised a huge portion of lamb shish, chicken shish, lamb Adana, chicken wings, lamb ribs and lamb chops. Initially, I had been nervous about this option, since I am quite particular about how my meat is cooked, but
the offering, cooked on the mangal (a Turkish barbeque, of sorts) was outstanding, and we gave it our best effort.

By the time it came to dessert, we were more than sated, but in the interests of the review, we decided to indulge ourselves with a shared portion of baklava, accompanied by a Turkish coffee. With the perfect flakiness, and ratio of honey and nuts, it was not overly sweet, but the perfect ending to an outstanding meal.

For outstanding food, drink, hospitality and accessibility, Zorba ticks all of my boxes. I was particularly pleased to see that the restaurant catered to families, too. We had dined early in the evening, so were delighted to share the restaurant with several other young patrons.

I will definitely be returning with our family.

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