Is Sunderland restaurant ENFES a Turkish Delight? We test out the menu

Is a trip to Sunderland Turkish restaurant ENFES enough to blow away those winter cobwebs? We put the menu to the test.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:05 am

The weather is cold, Christmas a long-forgotten memory and after a slog at the office I wanted something tasty to salvage my day.

Cue a trip into town to see what sort of treat Sunderland’s dining scene could rustle up.

Turkish food is having a bit of a “moment” right now and it’s definitely one of my favourite cuisines.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

ENFES, Derwent Street, Sunderland.

So a trip to ENFEs, on Derwent Street, was long overdue for my companion and I, who have made dining out at the region’s Eastern eateries something of a habit.

Our last pre-Christmas stop was at Durham’s Akarsu – just the ticket as a pre-cursor to a few weeks of turkey, pigs and blankets and chocolate on rotation.

I had my fingers crossed for something even better from ENFES.

Now, I love a starter. Really, I love a starter AND a pudding but if it comes down to just one I’d plump for the starter each time.

We take a look at ENFES in Derwent Street, Sunderland.

It's like a mini main course, the perfect support act for what’s to come.

One thing I love more than starters? Platters of them.

Spoiled for choice, my friend and I settled on a mix of hot and cold mezze tasters.

Available in portions for one or for two, both platters feature all the favourites; from hummus and halloumi, to falafel, spiced sausage and delectable pastries.

The mixed hot mezze start for one at ENFES Sunderland.

The hot platter for one (£8.95) and the cold platter for one (£6.95) are the perfect size to share between a couple of diners.

Both served with deliciously warm and dunkable bread, they made an exciting start to a food tour of Turkey.

The selection of dips and delights on the cold platter went down far too quickly, cleansing the palate after our hot starters.

My favourite was the broad bean dip; creamy, garlicky and decadent.

The mixed cold mezze starter for one.

From the hot plate, I’ve got a special place in my heart for the spinach and feta filo roll (muska boregi) – it just tastes like holidays to me.

When dining Turkish-style, I tend to choose lamb but the dishes heading out to nearby tables swayed me to choose Chicken Iskender for mains; cubed chicken in a sweet, smokey and buttery tomato sauce, served on chunks of flatbread with a healthy helping of yoghurt.

It arrived under a cloche with ample sauce and plenty of meat, so much so that I had to (shamefully) leave a little bit behind. And I still regret it.

My friend chose Ali Nazik, chunks of lamb on a creamy aubergine puree and reported that it was equally filling and warm – exactly what you want on a cold winter’s evening.

The bill topped out at £48 for the two platters, two main courses, a bottle of beer and a soft drink. A reasonable price to pay for a midweek trip to eastern Europe.

We may have been too full for a piece of Baklava for afters, but I plan to leave room next time.

The Chicken Iskender main course, served with yoghurt and flat bread pieces.
Ali Nazik main course.