Food Foddy

Red Mezze is one restaurant I have been to far too many times, for the simple reason that it offers consistently good Turkish comfort food at a reasonable price. Situated just behind St James’ Park, it is surrounded by a plethora of quirky bars should you wish to indulge in these afterwards. The restaurant itself is decorated simply with the odd Turkish trinket here and there. The staff are all very friendly and efficient; they popped over as soon as we were ready to order and we found throughout the meal we were hardly waiting around at all. The restaurant has a comfortable feel; it is often busy, providing a low buzz of conversation without being too loud that you’re having to lip-read the person sat opposite you.

“If, like me, you’re not very good at sharing food – don’t fear”

The food appears simple, but the taste has a remarkable depth and rich quality. You’re able to choose a selection of hot and cold mezzes to start, which is a lovely way to try a range of freshly cooked Turkish dishes. The selection ranges from freshly made bread, served warm, with homemade hummus to more adventurous dishes such as fried aubergine with peppers and potatoes coated in a rich tomato and garlic sauce. If, like me, you’re not very good at sharing food- don’t fear. The portions are large enough that you won’t feel the need to inhale it all without chewing just to make sure you get your fair share. I would recommend getting a portion of bread with whichever starters you go for as they are all quite saucy and bread can mop up what a fork cannot. In terms of the mains, I always get the same thing when I go to Red Mezze. Normally I would avoid getting the same meal twice, however the ‘Special Wrap’ (not the most traditional-sounding thing on the menu, I know) always goes down a treat and never disappoints. Plus I make a point of always trying everyone else’s food at Red Mezze to make up for my own lack of variety and none of the other mains have ever come close to the wrap. It is a tortilla wrap filled with your choice of either chicken or lamb, both of which are equally as melt-in-the-mouth tender and bursting with a lush flavour that can only be achieved by freshly chargrilled meat. It is stuffed with onions, mushrooms, a mix of herbs and double cream and the whole thing is toasted so the tortilla is served crisp with a side of fresh salad and Turkish rice. Needless to say, the wrap is huge, but I feel I could just sit there and eat one after another. I can picture the taste so vividly but it is impossible to do it justice on paper so you will have to try it for yourself. The bill is brought over with a selection of Turkish delight, which is a nice touch to end the meal.

“It is a beautiful place to go and enjoy some freshly cooked food in a comfortable atmosphere. Foody Foddy throughly recommends”

Though I would love to be selfish and keep this little gem all to myself, it is too good to stay hidden. The food is of a reliably high standard, the service is quick and the price reasonable. It is a beautiful place to go and enjoy some freshly cooked food in a comfortable atmosphere. Foody Foddy thoroughly recommends. 34-36 Leazes Park Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4PG

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