Istanbul Review: "A hidden gem of a restaurant serving authentic Halal Turkish food"

Read time: 3 minutes

Halal Status

All meats are Halal. No pork served. Alcohol served on premises

Clarendon House, Victoria Ave, Harrogate HG1 1JD

Menu

We literally happened to find this Halal hidden gem  serving Turkish food, by luck, driving through Harrogate high street. I love the simplicity of Turkish food and how chefs want you to be wowed by the flavour of the ingredients rather than over complicated marinades or sauces. This is good homely,  rustic Turkish food in a beautifully elegant restaurant.

Warm, fluffy bread with handmade dips

 Homemade bread and dips; tzatziki with olive oil and hummus  (complementary)

Homemade bread and dips; tzatziki with olive oil and hummus  (complementary)

What I love about Turkish restaurants is that many of the ones I've been to give you complementary bread and dips and Istanbul was no different, hence why I didn't bother ordering a starter. I was told the bread was freshly made that day. It was crunchy on the outside and warm, and soft in the middle. The sauces fell into all the little air pockets. The tzatziki sauce was tart from the lemon juice and refreshing. The main ingredient was natural yogurt and the chopped cucumber worked well as it added freshness, texture and bite to the sauce. The homemade hummus had a  lovely background flavour of garlic and tangy lemon. The texture was grainy which I liked and it had a handmade,  rustic look to it.

Some of the best and juiciest lamb chops I've ever had

 Pirzola - Grilled lamb chops served with rice and salad. £15.95

Pirzola - Grilled lamb chops served with rice and salad. £15.95

I was completely blown away by the plate of food in front of me. The first thing that hit me was how good the lamb chops looked glistening from the natural fats in the meat and how good it smelt.  The lamb chops were big and so soft, tender and juicy. The meat literally fell off the bone.  The lamb chops were seasoned with salt and pepper and I could taste a hint of garlic and that's it. This is the way it should be. Keep it simple and let the meat take centre stage for once rather than the marinade  that can mask the flavour of the meat. The lamb chops as you'd expect were fatty but the fat made the meat moist and added tons of flavour . The salad was light and crispy and had a  deliciously sharp dressing which cut through the rich fatty meat. 

 Look at how juicy these chops are!

Look at how juicy these chops are!

The rice was very different from what I'm used to getting in other Turkish restaurants. It was quite gelatinous and sticky but very filling. I thought it was a small amount of rice but it was more than enough. 

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