I must admit I have only ever visited Turkey once. It was in April 2016, we stayed at a lovely complex Gold City in Alanya. Despite the hotel being lovely, when we had ventured out for an afternoon. And I mean an afternoon, I soon realised that frankly, I wasn’t a great fan. So consequently have never been back. Females travelling alone (especially us blondes) appear to come across a little more harassment than would possibly be tolerated elsewhere and for me. Sadly my experiences have perhaps clouded my judgement of what many others claim a beautiful country.
However, this certainly does not detract from the fabulous cuisine that the Turkish nation has to offer. Those of you lucky enough to live or visit the locality of Whitley Bay on the stunning North East coast will be delighted to know that Turknaz has replicated authentic Turkish cuisine to perfection.
Turknaz is situated at the bottom of South Parade on Whitley Bay’s stunning seafront. In the building that once was owned by a couple of members from the 80’s super band Duran Duran. And yes, you guessed it, it was previously named…….Rio. Fast forward 30 years or so and the Turks have invaded in spectacularly culinary fashion.
Whitley Bay seafront is currently undergoing some serious regeneration so Turknaz is a welcome addition in the efforts to make the coastal town a little more cosmopolitan and vibrant once more.
The decor has been designed to emphasise casbah chic with a twist of distinctive Turkish styling. Think more rustic than luxurious. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and attentive and are on hand to explain every dish even to the novice.
The expansive menu explores all areas for your Turkish delight. With a veritable selection of both hot and cold mezze dishes available, along with individual starters. We opted for the mixed hot mezze platter between two (£15.50). Which allowed us to sample some of the most popular mezze dishes including; sucuk, falafel, sigara boregi, avci boregi and helium. If you have absolutely no idea what any of that means don’t worry. Out platter showcased an array of feta and spinach parcels, mincemeat parcels, halloumi, falafel and spicy sausage, served with hummus dip.
Turknaz does offer a selection ample of hot and cold mezze dishes too if you’re looking to share dishes the Turkish way, between friends. The servings of each dish are plentiful and accompanied with freshly warmed seeded bread. Which admittedly was delicious.
Usually, Lamb would not be my meat of choice however Turkish cuisine really delivers exceptionally tasty food with intricately blended spices to create a whole new taste sensation. I thought that I should give a lamb dish a go whilst visiting Turknaz. And after a recommendation from our very pleasant waiter, I selected the Special Lamb Wrap (£12.95). This was a chargrilled lamb dish served on tortilla bread with double cream, mushroom, onions and peppers, then toasted on charcoal. The portion size was plentiful and the whole meal was really flavoursome. Even if you’re not usually a lamb lover, I thoroughly recommend trying the lamb here as it is cooked to perfection.
Laura opted for the Chicken Shish (£12.95). This was cubes of marinated chicken breast skewered and charcoal grilled. These dishes are served with salad and rice but you know me I love a bit on the side.
So ordered an accompaniment of sauteed garlic potatoes (£3.45); good move. We also ordered garlic sauce (£1.95) which was again a great move.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our entire meal and thought that the food was authentically Turkish. Presented well. Good value for money and most importantly tasted delicious. Laura did comment that her glass of red wine wasn’t very palatable (it didn’t stop her drinking it!). Both of us did agree that we would return especially in a large group as we feel that with a party atmosphere it would make for an amazing evening.
Top Tip: ask for an upstairs table to experience the spectacular coastal view.