by Richard Williams | January 18, 2022
Zorba Meze Grill is one of the most popular places to eat in Tunbridge Wells and, as Richard Williams notes, despite increasing competition in the town, remains one of the best…
Zorba Meze Grill, or Zorba’s as it’s simply known to locals, has been delighting foodies in Tunbridge Wells for more than half a decade with its interpretation of traditional Turkish cuisine.
It has grown in popularity ever since it grew from a cafe to the stylish eatery it is today – consistently ranked among the top restaurants in all of Kent by Tripadvisor.
But a lot has happened since owner Sedat expanded his small café into a 150-seat restaurant and introduced meze and grill cuisine to the local dining scene.
A slew of eateries serving all manner of Mediterranean cuisines have sprung up over the years – some more successful than others, but increasing competition has done little to dampen Zorba’s appetite for top quality food and excellent service.
Relaxed dining is an often overused term, but Turkish cuisine can only be enjoyed in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
The whole purpose of meze — the hot and cold array of simple tapas like dips, salads, and vegetarian dishes — is sharing.
It’s not just the range that Zorba Meze Grill offers with all the favorites of hummus [£4.95] Babaganoush (smoked pureed eggplant)
[£4.95], and taramasalata [£4.95], but also the quality.
The philosophy of using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients wherever available certainly pays dividends when you taste the freshness of Ezme Salad [£4.95] with freshly picked parsley and crunchy red onions.
Not to mention the traditional flatbread. If you’ve found fresher, tastier and better prepared Mediterranean bread in Kent, write me because I wouldn’t believe it.
But the quality of the ingredients and the skill of the kitchen staff at Zorba’s are never more evident than in their grilled dishes.
The main event
Yes, there are many other dishes on Zorba’s menu, starting with Mussaka [£11.95] and incek (braised leg of lamb) [£13.95] but it’s the grill that creates all those flavors that make you salivate as soon as you enter the restaurant.
A look through the open kitchen – a decade ago perhaps a novelty more than today – and you see masters of their trade.
The chefs at Zorba’s know exactly how hot their coals are and how long each bite needs to be cooked.
You won’t find pink meat here, and even the fish, which overcooks so easily over intense coals, doesn’t stay on the grill a second longer than necessary.
The Adana (lamb skewers) [£13.95] and chicken meat [£13.95] are delicately flavored and a cut above the usual kebabs that many other Turkish restaurants offer.
But if you really want to sample a good selection then try Surf n’ Turk [£29.95], a playful twist on the more traditional steak and scampi, but with a choice of skewers (lamb and chicken), seasoned and gently grilled salmon, and grilled king prawns.
The food, location, and modern, spacious restaurant aren’t the only things that warrant a five-star rating at Zorba Meze Grill, but the restaurant team seem to go out of their way to ensure your stay is as relaxed and friendly as possible is.
You’re sure to feel welcome at Zorba’s, and the smiling faces are almost as much a draw as the quality food and fabulous service.