A bright light has been missing from North Street for quite a few years, but don’t worry, Adem and the Sazz Mezze are back! Everybody remembers the parties, the hats, the belly dancers but first and foremost the delicious Turkish food that was served at the former Sazz café and it was sorely missed. As soon as we could, we visited the new restaurant and were delighted to find that Adem’s beaming smile and genial hosting were still firmly in place, as were the cooking skills we remembered.
Nothing but the full works would do to celebrate the return of this homely and friendly piece of Turkey in Bristol, so we ordered mixed mezze, a formidable spread of dishes each one a traditional recipe and a mixture of meats and vegetarian to suit everyone, followed by the mixed grill, meatballs, chicken, and lamb chops with rice and vegetables. The latter ordered not only as we knew we would enjoy it, but it comes served so beautifully on hanging skewers.
Even though we had a largish table destined for four rather than two, the impressive mezze laid out on an enormous tray topped with a bright blue spotted cloth covered the entire table, it looked delicious, and we didn’t know where to start. Borek (stuffed filo pastry with feta cheese), grilled halloumi, spicy Turkish sausage with garlic and onion, breaded squid rings, falafel with houmous, olives, chickpeas, stuffed vine leaves, soslu patlican (aubergines in tomato sauce), all our favourites were there. I loved the spicy Turkish sausage and the aubergine dish, and we both enjoyed the flavoursome falafel and chickpeas.
The hanging skewers were great; tender and tasty pieces of chicken easily pulled off the skewer, magnificent meatballs, and crisp lamb chops (don’t be polite it’s a fingers and gnawing job to get the best experience with these) and we certainly needed the chai tea served as a soothing digestive before we got around to tackling the baklava dessert. Its rich layered pastry filled with honey and finely chopped pistachio nuts is the sweet treat to end all sweet treats and was a cracking finale to the perfect Turkish meal.
To end our evening small cups of dark and strong Turkish coffee were served each with a little paper scroll, the Turkish equivalent of the Chinese fortune cookie. Desperate to know our fortunes we dragged Adam away from other customers to translate them as they were naturally in Turkish, happily they didn’t forecast indigestion but I’m waiting for someone whose name begins with ‘T’ to come into my life and make it happy.
We had great fun as well as a marvelous meal and in this incarnation of Sazz you must bring your own wine (£2.50 corkage) and the hats!