Turkish delight can divide people just like Marmite – but this new restaurant is worth a try and may surprise you with just how much you like it.
Having only opened in the last month, The Old Bank in High Street, Rothwell, is already proving popular as we found out on a Tuesday night with at least eight other parties sharing the restaurant with us.
There’s a choice of meze dishes for starters, including calamari, grilled halloumi and cop shish (mini lamb shish skewers), all for £3.99.
Diners can have three mezes for £10, so we chose karides (pan-fried king prawns with olive oil and chilli), sucuk (pan-fried Turkish spiced beef sausage) and mantar saute (pan-fried mushrooms in a chilli and parsley butter) to share.
This was a good call with each dish packed full of flavour and served with home-made Turkish bread. We also had a portion of olives (£2.99).
Our waitress said the kitchen staff are Turkish so it’s no surprise there are various traditional specialities as mains, including Iskender (layers of home-made pide bread topped with lamb in tomato sauce and drizzled with garlic yogurt – £10.99) and lamb guvuc (traditional slow-cooked lamb casserole served with rice or bulgar and a mixed salad – £11.99).
There are grilled dishes too, including chicken shish (£11.99) and halloumi kebab (£9.99).
Bernie had the lamb shish, which was marinated lamb skewers served on a sizzling platter with peppers, onions and fresh tomatoes, accompanied by home-made Turkish bread, bulgar or rice and a choice of sauces (£12.99). It was a good-sized portion and duly enjoyed.
I went for balik lu sucuk – oven baked fillet of haddock served on a bed of sliced potatoes and sucuk (Turkish sausage) in a white wine sauce (£12.99). Unfortunately they had run out of haddock but the cod replacement seemed to work just as well.
Not that I have any knowledge of Turkish food, but I was expecting the sauce to be thicker and creamier than it was – it was tasty all the same.
The mains came with more home-made Turkish bread so we really were filling up now, but we said we’d consider a sweet. Having only recently opened, the waitress apologised and said they had very few options – partly because the sweet trolley had not yet been delivered.
She offered us ice-cream or the one remaining piece of chocolate cake, but fearing we had already eaten far more than our recommended daily calorie-count, we declined.
After settling the bill of £48.94 including two cokes and two lemonades, the waitress said they have only offered a provisional menu so far and will see what diners like before approving the final draft. This seems like a good way to find your feet as a new restaurant and ensure you offer the dining experience people want.
Given time, I’m sure this will be another jewel in Rothwell’s crown and could be the little piece of Turkish delight that Northamptonshire needs.
The Old Bank
36, High Street
DISABLED ACCESS: Two small steps on entry
PARKING: Available nearby in Market Square
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £48.94
Stephanie’s star rating: 8/10