[Durham] Akarsu

You’d be forgiven if you walked right past Akarsu without giving it a second glance. There’s just an open doorway and a flight of stairs leading to the first floor. But, if you did walk past, you’d miss out on a very decent lunch. Dinner is probably also decent but the internet had revealed there’s lunchtime bargains to be had. There’s a dozen or so Turkish main courses, all priced at £8.95 – add two starters for just another quid and you’ve got your own mezze.

There’s only a few starters, so it was a relatively easy pick for one of us. Served at room temperature, saksuka is the Turkish take on ratatouille – fried aubergine, peppers and onion in a well flavoured tomato sauce in which you could really taste the olive oil that had been used for frying. And kesir – bulghur, red peppers, tomato, lemon and parsley. They’d used a very fine bulghur which I thought made the texture a bit claggy but it tasted fine. I came with some slices of Turkish bread – just like the loaves we get from the local Turkish shop near home.

That was followed by an Adana kebab – the long flat minced lamb kebab named after Turkey’s fifth largest city. It’s well seasoned and still very juicy, so the flatbread it sits on soaks that up. Nice! There’s rice, salad, a little dish of chilli sauce and another of yoghurt.

More restraint was being shown across the table, with no starters being ordered. There was, however, a full plate overflowing with well made falafel (crisp exterior, soft interior), more chickpeas in the form of houmous and salad.

Good lunch. And it was probably disappointed them that there was only one other table occupied while we were there.