Recently revamped and renovated, Lezzet has returned with a new menu offering fine dining Anatolian cuisine in its unassuming Brighton Road restaurant, and we were invited in to try it!
Lezzet sets the balance perfectly for its Elwood clientele offering upmarket surroundings but with a casual feel. The interior is intimate, decorated with many gorgeous items showing the restaurants Turkish heritage. It’s a little dark, but in a good way and the service is seamless.
Now I won’t bore you with the story of how we rocked up on the wrong day again, but anyway, we went to Lezzet twice. The first time we ordered our own dishes and the second time we were treated to one of their feed me style banquets. 100% if you visit order a banquet – just sit back and let them feed you! I have to say it’s probably the best “feed me” style menu we’ve had in terms of the range of dishes, the quality and the pace at which the food was brought out (and that’s hard for me to say as we’ve visited a couple of restaurants over the past few months who are doing really great options for feed me and degustation right now).
We started with bread and dips. This came nice and quickly and the dip was so rich with a luscious taste, but it was light, as if you were eating air, and a perfect start to the meal. This was followed up with the mezze platter:
The lamb croquettes are just like these little rich gooey balls of awesomeness. You kind of wish there were more, but then they are so filling, in your heart you know one is really enough. It also included spinach and feta cigars (which are just a perfect classic flavour from that region) with a light crisp pastry, and more Turkish bread with another glorious dip. It was lots of little light bites, nothing to overwhelm but certainly something to set your palate (and your stomach) up for the rest of the feast.
The final entree we enjoyed was the lamb ribs. The meat literally fell of the bone and there was none of that usual fiddling and mess you get when trying to eat ribs. Seriously, if you go to Lezzet and don’t try the lamb you are crazy!! Now at this point, I was feeling a little bloated and wondering how I was going to manage these mains, however, I needn’t have worried as Lezzet left me plenty of time to take a food break before bringing out our first main course. The chicken had a gorgeous spiced flavour. It had clearly been cooked with plenty of herbs and spices, but they were there to provide flavour, not heat. This was accompanied by a glorious hummus that complemented it so well (making my homemade attempts look pitiful).
Our second main was a rice stuffed squid. Again there was a nice break between the first main and this, and I loved how it was a lighter main course to finish with. It also made me feel as though I had the whole range of food groups throughout the meal. This dish looked amazing, it also was a great way to highlight the skills of the chef, and even M.B. who isn’t a squid fan, wolfed down his half. We finished up with an apricot dessert – which while difficult to capture due to the pale colours, was unlike anything I’d had before and just felt like it fitted perfectly within the cuisine and was a great finishing touch.
I should cover some of what we had the first time, as the food was equally amazing, however, we ordered badly and had way too much heavy food (hence my ‘let them feed you’ argument). The Anatolian Lamb with a wood-oven baked top is unlike any other “pie” you’ve had before. The sauce looks creamy but tastes more like a gravy and the lamb just melts in your mouth (has anyone counted how many times I’ve said lamb yet?). We also had the vine wrapped salmon which was huge and again perfectly cooked. We accompanied this with halloumi bites (which are sort of like the perfect comfort food), potatoes and rice.
Lezzet is unashamed in that they stick to what they know. They don’t try and please everyone, or stick to the middle ground, they’re cooking you food like I imagine their parents or grandparents cooked for them. I love this, I love their hospitality and I also love their mocktails which I haven’t had a chance to mention (They do cocktails too but M.B. is on his L’s so there was none of that fun for me!) Maybe next time! Thanks for having us (twice) Lezzet!