HAVING a top restaurant at the end of your street can be a bit of a mixed blessing.
On one hand, we never have far to walk for a delicious slap-up meal.
But on the down side ... we never have far to walk for a delicious slap-up meal – which means the bank balance can take a bit of a battering.
It’s a problem I’ve faced since moving in just round the corner from Rendezvous @ Nargile.
And so it proved the other night as my girlfriend and I headed to the Forest Avenue eatery.
The website promises a fusion of east and west cuisine – and this modern approach is obvious from the moment you arrive.
Unlike its parent restaurant, Nargile – which is decked out in traditional Turkish decor – Rendezvous is all smooth lines and chic minimalism.
After spectacularly failing to decide on any dishes from the menu, we decided to let the professionals do the choosing for us and opted for the ziyafet sofrasi banquet (£24.95 per person).
The menu claimed the meze starters were meant to “whet the appetite”, but you’d have to have some appetite to not be pretty stuffed after munching your way through the huge selection of dishes on offer.
The sucuk (Turkish sausage) was a favourite of mine – a tangy treat half-way between smoked sausage and chorizo, it was right up my street. The humus came with a selection of warm pitta breads, and the vast spread also included an aubergine dish, mixed vegetable with yoghurt, filo pastry stuffed with feta and spinach, chicken wings and my girlfriend’s favourite, chicken with sweet peppers.
After such a feast we could probably have stopped there, but there were plenty more Turkish delights on the way.
The lamb and chicken kebabs were wonderfully tender and moist, with the rugged hunks of meat complemented beautifully by a fiery sauce reminiscent of horseradish.
Another highlight was the chicken iskender – chicken on a bed of pitta bread, doused in garlic yoghurt and halep sauce.
Aubergine stuffed with mince, a rich chicken casserole, wild rice and a salad rounded off the monumental meal, and left us straining at the seams. We were glad the friendly waitress offered to give us a break before the baklava (small Turkish pastries).
Having eaten enough food to feed the Ottoman Empire, we decided that living next to such a delightful restaurant was definitely a good thing.