Aspendos: We visited the authentic Turkish restaurant in Deal where lunch costs less than £10 – Matt Drake

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Aspendos isn’t just a run-of-the-mill kebab shop, it is freshly prepared authentic Turkish cuisine at a reasonable price. As soon as I moved to Kent, I heard good things about Aspendos.

With four locations across Kent, including Dover, Folkestone, Ashford and Deal, they must be doing something right. While the evening menu is more pricey, the lunchtime menu is an absolute bargain and worth more than they charge. For two courses it is just £9.95 with a choice of starters such as humus, falafel and mains including lamb shish kebab and BBQ Chicken Wings.

While the decor isn’t the most up-to-date, the store in Deal had a certain charm. It looked like something out of the 1970s with art and fake stone on the walls.

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It feels like you are entering an Aladdin’s cave, with the staff wearing gold-embroidered Turkish waistcoats. In the corner is a booth with dark blue and turquoise tiles that wouldn’t look out of place in a 70s disco.

But the proof is in the tasting. When I looked at the menu, I noticed that it was tattered, wrinkled and old. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it just means it is well used.

The feta cheese went great with the freshly cooked flatbread

Along with a free soft drink, you can choose a selection of Turkish classics. This includes Sigara Boregi, a cheese-filled filo pastry, Patlican Soslu, Aubergine and green peppers in a tomato sauce, and Ksir, which is a blend of crushed wheat, celery, parsley, peppers, mints and herbs in a dry tomato sauce.

Sigara Boregi is a traditional Turkish filo pastry stuffed with cheese
Sigara Boregi is a traditional Turkish filo pastry stuffed with cheese

For main is a range of kebabs: chicken, lamb and kofte. You can also order Falafel as a main and other vegetarian/vegan options include Imam Byildi, which is baby aubergine stuffed with onions, peppers, tomatoes and baked in a tomato sauce. You can also order a good veggie burger.

For starters, I tried a plate of feta cheese and Sigara Boregi. Along with a salad garnish came a generous helping of homemade flatbread, which was practically a starter in itself.

Chicken kebab, side salad, and flatbread
Chicken kebab, side salad, and flatbread

My mains were lamb shish kebab and chicken shish. As I said before, this isn’t just a kebab you order after a night out.

I was pleasantly surprised at how high quality the lamb was, how nicely chargrilled it tasted, and how juicy the meat was. This came with a dressed salad, rice and beluga wheat.

Aspendos in Deal definitely lived up to the hype
Aspendos in Deal definitely lived up to the hype

No matter how I tried, I just couldn’t finish all the food along with the fresh garlic butter smothered complimentary bread. And all of it for less than a tenner per head.

On your way out you are urged to help yourself to Turkish delight. All in all, I left with a sweet taste in my mouth and looking forward to coming back and sampling the evening menu.

This lunch definitely lived up to the hype.

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