Restaurant review: La'De in Newbury is a Turkish delight
Angela Knight visits Turkish restaurant La’De in Newbury on a cold evening and soon warms up.
Want a little sunshine in your life in the these dreary times? A taste of the eastern Mediterranean might just do the trick. The Turkish La’De restaurant, in the Parkway Shopping Centre, Newbury, overlooking Victoria Park is a fusion of Anatolian, Mediterranean and charcoal grilled food.
The menu has lots to offer – for a starter there are hot or cold mezes, including octopus leg and tiger prawns, and we were very tempted to sample them all as a tapas.
But eventually we narrowed it down to my husband John ordering a filo pastry Borek, which was Anatolian cheese filled filo pastry deep fried (£5.90).
As I couldn’t make up my mind our waiter, Hasan recommended the goat’s cheese balls which were coated in breadcrumbs, deep fried and served on a bed of berry sauce. (£7.50)
While the starters were being prepared we ordered a bottle of Turkish red wine. Apparently the Okuzgozu region in Eastern Anatolia has the best vineyards and produces very good red wines (£29).
Hasan said it goes well with lamb and also corrected our knowledge of Turkey – telling us the capitol of Turkey is Ankara in Anatolia and not Istanbul, as we thought, even though it’s Turkey’s largest city and financial centre.
Sipping the Turkish wine and beguiled by the smell of food I had time to notice the restaurant’s interior. It is busy.
The 30-plus restaurant tables were all taken – it’s certainly a popular Newbury venue.
It is not as I imagined, the windows are high from the wooden floor to ceiling and a gigantic mirror hangs on one wall. The room is well lit and speakers play pop music in the background, giving it a vibrant ambience.
On certain evenings Hasan says there is live music and that there will be live music on Sunday.
Our starters arrive accompanied by olives and ‘balloon bread’ which is a thin and crispy lava bread served piping hot with a hollow centre, sprinkled with poppy seeds.
As you tear open the bread, steam rushes out. It is simply delicious with our starters – but would be just as good on its own!
Apparently, it is the first thing diners ask for and, after eating it, we can see why.
For our main courses we could have chosen Anatolian Pizzas, Italian Pizzas or salads, but we wanted an authentic Turkish meal to remind us of a holiday we once spent on the Turkish coast.
John chose chicken Guvec (£15.90), which the menu says is a gluten-free casserole, oven cooked in a stone pot with tomato sauce, onion, peppers, mushroom, garlic and spring onion, served with a choice of bulgur or pilav rice (£3.50).
I chose La’De’s signature dish, Pistachio Adana (£17.90) which is rolled minced lamb, marinated in spices, chargrilled with pistachios and served with bulgur rice (£3.50) and salad.
Both dishes were succulent and filling.
We thought we couldn’t eat anything more, but were persuaded to try a dessert, a triangle of Baklava (£6.90) and a hot Kunefe* with ice cream (£7.90), a crispy cheese dessert with a layer of mild ‘stretchy’ cheese and pistachios.
For someone with a sweet tooth like me, the baklava was sublime.
I had expected to see Turkish coffee on the menu, but instead we were brought Turkish tea (£1) which was a little bitter but sweetened by the addition of a Turkish delight.
It was a delicious meal and a novelty to try Turkish foods, especially the balloon bread, which I’m sure will draw us back for a return visit.
So what does La’De mean? I put La’De into google translate from Turkish and got nowhere. If you’re also wondering what La’De means, it’s the abbreviated names of the owner’s two children, Laila and Deniz!
*Kunefe is a special stringy cheese
La’De Unit G46, 74-75 Parkway shopping centre, Newbury RG14 1AY Tel: 01635 550 532 www.newbury.ladekitchen.com