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The Mad Turk- Stamford

Home > Peterborough > Restaurants | Food and Wine
by Bryony Smithers (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer currently reading Classical Literature and English at Leeds University. I hope you enjoy!
Published March 28th 2015
Spices and Raki will leave you Mad for Turkey
Like much of Georgian Stamford, The Mad Turk is a mix of tradition and design. Slightly set back from the road, the outside looks quaint, and crisp.

The Mad Turk
The Mad Turk

The deep, slate-grey walls inside off-set the traditional Turkish lighting, the shadows cascading down the walls, and the traditional Turkish music gently reverberating around the small restaurant.

Turkish Lighting
Turkish Lighting

Turkish Lighting
Turkish Lighting

With only a dozen tables, it has an intimate atmosphere. Yes, this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is warm and inviting, and the wafts of spices are enough to entice you.

Like any Turkish restaurant, upon arrival you are presented with a plate of warm flat bread, sumptuous olives, and lemon oil. Turkish food encourages you to share, and discuss.

Turkish Flatbread
Turkish Flatbread

The menu is small and concise, yet bursting with flavour, with a Turkish wine list to match. We selected a starter to share, a main each, and the house wine, Turkish red. The wine was what struck me first; full bodied and delicious, even the house red was miles above the watery European fair usually served, and made me wonder why Turkish wines have yet to hit the mainstream.

For starters, we chose Patlican, Biber, Kabak. A traditional combination of flavours with heavy notes of garlic, chargrilled aubergines, peppers and courgettes, spicy tomato sauce, and yoghurt to diffuse the heat. The portion was large for the price, at 4.99. If I return, I would be tempted to create a mezze platter of just starters.

Patlican, Biber, Kabak
Patlican, Biber, Kabak

For mains, we chose a mains portion of Kalamar; tasty morsels of deep fried squid, lemon, mayonnaise, and a fiery chilli/tomato sauce, for a Turkish twist on a basic classic. All served with a shot of Raki to get the night off to a winner.

However, my favourite dish was their take on a Lamb Shish Kebab. Instead of minced lamb, marinated, chargrilled prime cuts of lamb lay on a hefty helping of bulgar, with a side of chilli/tomato sauce. A hit of spice permeated through the dish, from the garlic and chilli based marinade, to the fiery hunks of chilli that intermingle with rich tomato in the sauce, to the classic Turkish spice mix that is dusted through the bulgar. At 14.99, the portion is large, and with the heavy hand of spice, it is sure to last you a while.

Lamb Shish Kebab
Lamb Shish Kebab

While the intimate atmosphere does occasionally mean the overbearing owner is too present, the food is delicious, the music spine-tingling, and the wine is on a whole other level.

Opening Times:
Monday-Thursday 6pm-11pm
Friday 5.30pm-11pm
Saturday 12pm-11pm

(booking advised)
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Why? For Turkish cuisine like no other
When: When you want to escape to Turkey
Phone: 01780 238001
Where: 8/9 St Paul's Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE
Cost: 10
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