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Memories of a holiday in Turkey come flooding back as Russell Claydon delights in Turkish cuisine at The Sheesh in Bury St Edmunds

Having seen the meat content of our family meals decline in my wife’s personal fight against climate change, a trip to The Sheesh on Bury St Edmunds’ Risbygate Street was a real treat.

The wood-smoked smells and sights of skewered meat and peppers colouring on open coals as you enter immediately stirs the senses for the experience of a Turkish barbecue that awaits your tastebuds.

As we were taken through to where the restaurant opens out into a rectangular seating area that is hidden from the street, the traditional decor, paintings and music transport my wife and myself back to our first holiday together, in Alanya.

Hot Meze Platter (31319330)
Hot Meze Platter (31319330)

Having built up a big appetite, we ordered the Hot Meze Platter (£14.95) to start with crisp traditional Turkish flatbread and dips soon arriving at our table, just like that 2009 holiday, to accompany the Efes draft beer (bottles) and my wife’s fresh mint tea.

It gave a great flavour of some traditional delicacies such as sigara böregi (fried feta rolls), mucver (courgette fritters), sucuk (spicy beef sausage, definitely my favourite) as well as the more recognisable halloumi and calamari. There was also a range of dips to pair with.

Unlike some starters, it was very filling and could easily be a lunch for two by itself.

Mix Grill (31319334)
Mix Grill (31319334)

Not wanting to miss out on the range of meats (I had better point out a range of vegetarian options are available), I had to go for a Mix Grill (17.95). It comprised lamb and chicken shish kebabs as well as adana (spicy minced lamb) and a char-grilled lamb chop. It came with a varied bowl of colourful fresh, crispy salad and some accompanying different types of rice (the beluga was one of the best I’ve tasted) and was presented very well on the plate.

The meat was all cooked to perfection, falling apart with my fork and full of char-grilled flavour with some interesting spices to liven it up.

My wife opted for Chicken Sheesh & Yoghurt (13.95) which was more aligned to her taste than mine, adding a delicate creamy flavour and came layered over rice and bread, adding an interesting dimension.

Both were wholeheartedly enjoyed and both managed to beat us, with our waiter happy to foil box up our leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day.

It meant we did not get the chance to sample the traditional Turkish desserts, so we will definitely be looking to return soon!

The Sheesh Turkish BBQ Restaurant, 9 Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3AA. Telephone 01284 700002

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