I don’t get the chance to lunch in Brum very often, apart from the rare occasion in the city centre, so when I got the opportunity to pretend I’m one of the cool cats in town and have a quick lunch with a pal in the Jewellery Quarter, I grabbed it like a kid grabs the chance to play Fortnite.
He suggested Cappadocia, a Turkish restaurant that sounded like a good option for a quick but tasty catch up. Turkey’s been near the top of my favourite places for food (check out the rave about Kalamaki in Kalkan for example) and while I doubted I could be wholly transported there from the Midlands by virtue of a swift lunch, I hoped to get a few of those holiday flavours.
The menu is littered with hot and cold meze, charcoal grills and burgers and pastas (slightly less appealing to me but presumably there for a good reason). They do a great value lunch deal – three courses for £12.95 and two for £9.95 which I think you can’t really go wrong with. Since he was paying, we both went for three which includes a choice of any cold meze and any charcoal grilled kebab plus a dessert.
To start we shared the hummus and the tabule (their spelling not mine). The former was everything hummus should be and better than anything you’ll get from a plastic tub at the supermarket. Garlicky, smooth, with that delicious savoury hit you get from the tahini, as well as a slight kick from lemon and paprika. Served up with warm pitta bread for the perfect appetite-whetting treat.
I was less impressed by the tabule. Mixed with parsley, red peppers, mint, lemon and pomegranate juice, it was nice enough but in contrast to the hummus, just didn’t bring much more to the table than I reckon I’ve bought in shops before.
Main courses are from the charcoal grill section of the menu which covers an array of chicken and lamb offerings, as well as a veggie option of halloumi and peppers. He went for chicken shish (the cubed one), while I’m a glutton for kofta so couldn’t resist a slightly phallic skewer of minced lamb. Both come with rice, salad, and a chargrilled chilli. Simple, but effective, something that you don’t see much these days and is pleasantly refreshing.
The meat in both cases was moist and succulent, though I think my kofta won on flavour (doesn’t lamb always?) The salad is simple but fresh and the rice was, well, rice. Again, decent lunch dishes, cooked nicely, but not so knockout that I’d go running back into Birmingham once a week to have them.
Dessert was part of the deal, though the choices seemed slightly sparse. He had chocolate cake (is this Turkish?) with a pile of (wait for it…) squirty cream, while I had their version of rice pudding. The cake was, well again, cake. The rice pudding was a bit different, fragrant courtesy of some Middle Eastern spicing. But it came cold which definitely won’t be to lots of people’s taste and was served in a silver takeaway container. Maybe both of these are tradition – I’m not sure. One is just about manageable (cold rice pudding) but the other just doesn’t work.
The desserts may have been slightly questionable but overall the experience at Cappadocia was good. It’s a nice place to eat, the service is warm and friendly and I think the lunch deal is pretty good value. The food just didn’t really blow me away. It’s pleasant, looks pretty, is probably fairly healthy but just didn’t do enough to carry me back to Turkey. I’m told there are other, better examples and would perhaps give those a go next time.
That said, if I was in the area and wanted a speedy lunch in pleasant surroundings, Cappadocia would do the trick. You could do far worse than to pop in here for some scran.
We (well, my pal) paid in full for our meals at Cappadocia, and I also had a rather delicious glass of white wine. They didn’t know I was a blogger.