Brad Barnes dines at Tavan on Lincoln Road

Tavan: A Peterborough restaurant that is a Turkish delight

News last week that a new Turkish restaurant was on its way to Peterborough city centre got my taste buds tingling - so I thought I would check out the opposition.

By Brad Barnes
Saturday, 9th April 2022, 10:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th April 2022, 8:33 am

Tavan, which opened in 2017, describes itself as Turkish and Morrocan, but we are not talking about a Middle Eastern-Mediterranean-North African fusion, more what I would call traditional Turkish fayre - with some tagine dishes on the menu.

Some people might recognise the building as the old Tom Lock Harvester or even Mai Thai, but step through the doors and the decor - the hanging lanterns in particular - offer more than a hint of the cuisine on offer.

It is pretty spacious if a little dark when you are not seated at a table near a window (which we weren’t) . But we were made comfortable and the service was fine.

Keen to try as much as possible, the three of us chose a hot and cold mixed meze (£14.95), a couple of starters and adana kofte (£14.95) from the main menu - delicious minced lamb, nicely spiced and cooked over coals giving that char flavour and a little texture while staying soft was something I couldn’t turn down. There was plenty of it and it came with a crisp salad some rice and couscous and a wrap not forgetting the lovely spicy sauce.

As we were going to share dishes we asked for it all to be brought out together, which in hindsight was a mistake. Apart from anything else, we needed a bigger table.

The mixed meze was a real treat - a stack of warm bread to dip into tasty little dishes of hummus, taramasalata, cacik and zaalouk - my favourite and a mixture of smoked aubergine with yoghurt, tahini, garlic and olive oil.

Then there was sucuk, a grilled Turkish sausage which was a little spicy; briouats, warm and tasty feta cheese-filled filo pastry wraps; hellim - charcoal grilled goats cheese; and falafel, crunchy frittersmade from mashed chick peas.

The extra starters included dolma (£5.50), soft stuffed vine leaves; kiopoolu salad (£5.95) - a dish of of smoked pepper, aubergine and tomato, garlic and olive oil, served witheven more pita bread; and the delightful hummus kawarma(£6.95) - more hummus topped with spices and delicious strips of chopped lamb- and more bread.

So what started out as pre-theatre snacking ended in a full-on feast. Our other mistake was we didn’t allow ourselves enough time to clear every plate, if indeed we could have!

Brad Barnes was dining at Tavan, 77 Lincoln Road, Peterborough

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