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I hate the word “Foodie” It’s a word that has taken on cliquey connotations, and now “Foodies” have become arrogant and self-congratulatory.
I am definitely not a foodie, I just love food and restaurants.
Someone else who was a food lover was my grandfather, he adored all kinds of food from the most basic and humble pakora to the most complex Haleem, cooked in the Persian way where the grain starch is changed on a molecular level to fuse with the wild goat meat protein after being cooked and hand-ground over 12 hours.
Once I was visiting my grandfather on his plantation, in the deepest darkest Toba Tek Singh and I felt homesick so my grandfather asked me what would I like to eat, I absent-mindedly said chips, anybody else would have taken the frozen chips from the freezer, not my grandfather, he did not know how to make basic chips, he only made the most amazing and delicious chips.
First, he called his friend who owned the biggest Potato Cold Store in Pakistan and requested that he send someone with a sack of Maris Piper potato’s from the fields next to the flood plains of the Ravi river (apparently the soil has the best nutrients)
Then he called his moonshee (foreman) and told him to open up storage godown 23 (warehouse 23) and Extract oil from Palm Kernals harvested in summer 1984.
Then he called his friend the Chief Minister of Punjab who had just left Islamabad on the pay to visit my grandfather if he could stop on his way to at Khewra Salt Mines ( salt has been harvested in Khewra since biblical times and is the best salt in the world) and pick up some flaked Khewra Rock Salt.
He then personally supervised the preparation and thrice frying the chips to make the most delicious chips I had ever eaten, they were golden and crispy on the outside and moist and fluffy in the inside.
My point being, this is the level my grandfather took to make a humble plate of chips, would he call himself a foodie, definitely not!!
Miah Foodwala and I visited Meze Meze, they call themselves a Turkish and Persian Ocakbaşi, That definitely piqued my curiosity, that is like describing a French and Russian restaurant, they are completely different kinds of food.
We entered the rustic yet welcoming diner, there was a nice buzz about the restaurant and the staff was nice and friendly. After getting the COVID 19 track and trace formalities over with we sat down, absolutely famished.
The thin layers of lamb and chicken were spit-roasted so that the burnt ends were perfectly caramelized without drying it out, perfect for being scooped up in the warm bread along with hummus and enjoyed.
Next up was the Lamb Iskender, chunks of roasted lamb on buttered Turkish bread and then topped with spicy Tomato Iskender sauce, thick creamy Turkish yogurt, and then drizzled with hot Anatolian butter.
The Iskender Kebab was phenomenal, the lamb was so soft and tender, it virtually melted in my mouth, It would be pedantic of me if i was to point out that an authentic Iskender kebab is made of slivers of lamb rather than chunks of lamb.
Unfortunately, at this point the meal took a turn down, The Kobideh Kebab was dry and flimsy, not the usual meaty and succulent Kobideh Kebab.
The Adana Kebab was slightly better than the Kobideh, The texture of the kebab was more of a minced kebab rather than a finely chopped lamb and tail fat kebab, In my opinion, the kebabs were under seasoned.
In conclusion, Meze Meze was quite adequate, the Meze was fresh, well-executed and delicious, however, the main course kebabs were still tasty but not carried out with the flair or panache is expected.
the staff was friendly and efficient and the restaurant had a nice chilled atmosphere.
The Star of the Meal?
The iskender Kebab and the Chicken Wings too the gong in my opinion.
The miss of the Meal?
I would probably say the Kobideh Kebab, but there was not much in it.
So how did Meze Meze do against its peers?
The Patogh in London definitely did a better Kobideh kebab, Paradise on Great Western Road also does a decent Kobideh
For the Turkish half of the meal, the Gokyuzo and Hala on Grand Parade do a mean Adana, closer to home, the Eda in Glasgow have a nice Adana nd Iskender Kebabs.
The Chicken, Beef, and Lamb is confirmed 100% Halal
Alcohol is served on the Premises
NO Pork is served on the Premises
100% impartial Guarantee
Alfie Foodwala visits all restaurants anonymously and pays for the bill like any other customer, Alfie Foodwala does not except free meals in return for meals
All reviews are the personal opinion of Alfie Foodwala based on his 30-year experience as a restauranteur.