Chances are, you’ve walked past Marmaris a thousand times and not really given it a second thought.
To be honest, its stark exterior doesn’t really do it any favours and no doubt far too many people just think ‘take-away’.
However, this is St Giles Street, not the town centre end of the Welly road where you can buy pizzas and kebabs into the early hours.
Its location alone should be enough to make you take notice of Marmaris – and if that doesn’t warrant your attention, the smell of Turkish cuisine wafting out from the inside should.
The next time you walk past, glance into the window and you’ll probably see tables packed with people eating; another indicator of the quality of this restaurant.
Having lived in Northampton on and off for too long to remember, I’d ignored Marmaris for too long.
So, on one sunny afternoon in April, my partner Alys and I finally set foot inside.
It wasn’t long after Marmaris had opened, so there were only a few other diners inside.
We were quickly met by a waiter and taken to a table near the window where we were able to bask in the sun.
We ordered a couple of soft drinks (£1.50 each). Two cans promptly arrived with glasses.
Marmaris offers a generous selection of hot or cold starters. We ordered Dolma (stuffed vine leaves) (£4) and Halloumi (grilled goats cheese) (£4.50). At Marmaris, the kitchen is within the main downstairs part of the restaurant and if you’re in the right place you can see your food being prepared for you.
While we waited, we were brought a plate of cooked onion slices in a spicy red sauce.
Our starters promptly arrived and we tucked in. The vine leaves were tightly packed with a generous filling of rice and spices with fresh lime to add to taste. The hallumi was cut into thick pieces and cooked perfectly.
The majority of Marmaris’ main courses are lamb or chicken, but fish and vegetarian courses are also available.
I ordered Yogurtul Beyti – grilled lamb with a yoghurt and tomato sauce. (£9.50) with a side of rice (£2.50) while Alys ordered Mix Shish – a selection of lamb and chicken served with salad. (£9.50).
As we waited for our mains, we were brought a basket of warm homemade bread which we devoured.
My Yogurtul Beyti was packed full of chunks of lamb, hidden under a thick, rich sauce and the base of the dish it was served in was lined with more bread.
The lamb was cooked perfectly and it was buried in a generous helping of sauce.
It was quite sweet without being overpowering, not spicy, yet packed full of flavour and piping hot throughout.
Alys’ main course comprised of several large skewers of lamb and chicken kebabs, marinated in sauces, on salad.
These were tender, well cooked and flavoursome. In hindsight, I probably didn’t need the rice, as the lamb and sauce seemed never ending.
By the time we finished our mains, we were truly full and opted against a dessert.
Our bill came to £36.
With Turkish eateries so few and far between in Northampton, Marmaris is absolutely worth a visit.
Marmaris, St Giles Street, Northampton. Telephone: 01604 259090. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
VALUE: Great value, not pricey
FOOD:Wide ranging and tasty
DISABLED ACCESS: Yes
PARKING: On street
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £36
David’s star rating: 8/10