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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Turkish delight but lacks atmosphere

With a menu bursting with delicacies from Mediterranean sea bream to mixed-meat grill, the three Turkish brothers who run Bosphorus in Cardiff Bay definitely prove there is more to Turkish cuisine than kebabs.

Teetering upon a wooden jetty over the water’s edge, the view across the bay is striking. In the summer there are tables outside and glass walls mean the view can also be enjoyed from the inside.

Bosphorus restaurant

Bosphorus restaurant

Meat and vegetables are cooked to order meaning it does take longer than usual. But when it arrives the wait is immediately forgiven. The flavours are fantastic. You can really taste the time and effort taken to prepare it and the portion sizes leave you feeling very satisfied. One of the three brothers said to me afterwards that the secret of Turkish charcoal grilling is to cook the skewered meat on a low heat so it retains its moisture. This cooking technique definitely shows through in the finished dish.

After an overwhelming array of flavours from the main meal, dessert and coffee was eagerly anticipated. I was not let down. Turkish desserts are unusual in all the right ways. Baklava is a sticky delicacy of tight-layered filo pastry coated in pistachios and sugar syrup. Kazan Dibi, another unusual dessert, is a smoked vanilla pudding that originally contained chicken breast when the three brothers came to Cardiff nine-years-ago. But over the years customer feedback meant this savoury touch was taken out and the dish adapted. I would have liked to have tried the chicken breast version but I can understand how this might not have been a best seller in their sweet dessert range.

Turkish coffee is traditionally heated in a bowl of sand to prevent it boiling. Once carefully heated, it appears in a little copper pot and is served at the table. The coffee’s thick texture and lack of bitterness is a real treat – the perfect end to a fantastic meal.

The one criticism of the evening would be the pairing of the venue and the food. Perhaps it was because of Wales’s winter drizzle tapping against the window throughout the meal, but the open space of the restaurant left quite a cold atmosphere where I was expecting a hot bustle of traditional Turkish music, noise and laughter. This could have been bad timing on my part as I can imagine the venue having a very different atmosphere in the summer months.

Bosphorus Turkish Restaurant, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, average main meal price- around £13, 4 stars


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