Published in Welwyn Hatfield Times 6 September 2017
Turkish food is hugely popular in our local area at the moment, with several new restaurant openings. I had heard good things about Turkish Kitchen near the University; it is a mini-chain with Hatfield being the latest in four restaurants, with another in nearby Hertford.
We went on a Monday lunchtime and it was very busy for so early in the week, with families, friends and work groups having lunch, which was a good sign. You would have to book for a weekend evening.
We had a warm welcome and service continued to be good throughout. We asked for tap water and this came in a large bottle, along with a generous bowl of warm lavas bread with a chilli and carrot relish and a garlic dip. These were all delicious and almost enough for lunch in itself.
I ordered a plate of mixed meze from the set lunch menu (6.45) which included warm, crispy and perhaps a little oily falafel; they went well with the yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip and slices of cucumber. The hummus was thick with good texture and was lovely with the olive oil and sumac sprinkled on top. The halloumi could have been grilled for longer, and the aubergine and pepper Imam Biyaldi seemed a bit sweet. The chicken skewer was excellent value for the price, with large pieces of nicely grilled meat and red cabbage and tomato salad. The fries were a little undercooked but as the chicken came with more lavas bread they weren’t really needed.
The main evening menu is very long; the stand-out dishes are from the charcoal grill or the kofta. There are plenty of dips and aubergine dishes for non-meat eaters. They do a platter for four people for 50 pounds, making group ordering very easy!
The restaurant is in a large glass-fronted unit next to Aldi so they have tried to add character with a ‘barn’ area at one end, complete with thatched roof, and an open kitchen where you can see the chefs behind plumes of smoke. It’s not as sophisticated as it’s neighbours in St Albans, but for a great value meal out, The Turkish Kitchen is a good alternative to the chains in the nearby Galleria.