As restaurants re-open for indoor dining, local writer Emma Norris visited The Hub’s well-liked DeRoka restaurant to explore the eatery’s acclaimed Turkish cuisine.
As pictures of the mouth-watering food (and cocktails!) from DeRoka had been plastered all over my social media recently, it only seemed right to try it out on this sunny Bank Holiday weekend. I’d heard – and seen – so many good things about the restaurant before making the trip to The Hub, and I can tell you that it didn’t disappoint – not one bit.
DeRoka describes itself as a ‘family-owned, independent restaurant that specialises in exquisite traditional cuisine.’ The founders believe that ‘a memorable dining experience is determined by the quality and flavour of the food’ and ‘by the people that you meet.’ There’s no doubt they can say this with confidence – the service, the staff, and the sustenance were all top quality.
Situated in what used to be Loch Fyne, DeRoka could’ve easily fallen-foul to feeling a little ‘empty’ with its hugely vast ceilings, but the décor is classy without being obnoxious and every table on both the ground floor and mezzanine were packed out; the atmosphere was buzzing.
Flatbreads, tzatziki and salsa are complimentary and there was plenty to go round our party of 5. For a starter we had the hot ‘chef’s choice’ meze platter which served two; it included sucuk or grilled Turkish sausage, borek (feta and herb-stuffed filo pastry parcels, which were my personal favourite), hummus, halloumi, falafel and calamari. It really was faultless.
For mains, we all opted for various kebabs; we had seen on their social media that they had made it to the semi-finals of the ‘British Kebab Awards’ – obviously for good reason. The lamb shish was tender and succulent, the chicken shish was flavourful and juicy and the adana kebab was perfectly spiced. All of these dishes came with mixed vegetables and rice and the portions were sizeable, even for those (like me!) who have big appetites.
We were too full for dessert but, of course, we had to sample some of the many cocktails as it was a sunny Saturday night. The espresso martini was lovely (topped with two mini marshmallows, rather than classic coffee beans) and my friends enjoyed their mai tai, g&t and piña colada too. The final bill was really reasonable, especially considering the amount we’d eaten and drunk.
All in all, I can’t wait to visit DeRoka again; we’re so lucky to have such an amazing independent restaurant just on the doorstep!