Today I had lunch with a friend at the Terrace Turkish Restaurant in central Southend, a few doors down from Sainsburys, by the big roundabout. It used to be Ali Baba’s kebab shop, which years ago I used to visit because of their excellent, value pizzas, but had since turned into a cosy restaurant serving variants on the theme of what was dished up in the old days. We had in mind originally going somewhere more English, which tended to be our preference, but feeling a bit adventurous we were drawn to this place which was only a minute away from where we had met up and were attracted by their two course lunchtime special at £8.95.
We arrived a few minutes before the scheduled opening time of 12pm and were greeted by its friendly owner, who my friend happened to know. There was a good selection of Turkish meal options on offer and the helpful waitress talked us through these. We decided to go straight for the set menu, forgoing drinks until the end, although we did get a free jug of water and the drinks, a latte and a Turkish tea (which I had for the first time and to my pleasant surprise enjoyed at lot), were all very acceptable and inexpensive, making the just over £20 paid out for this and the meal more than good value, given what had been on offer. I should say the surroundings were pleasant and it had a nice ambience. Service was fairly quick and cheerful. Other than occasional exchanges with the two staff we met, we were able to catch up on many subjects in relative quiet and put the world to right, including the subject of the hour – Brexit. We noticed by the time we left an hour and a half later the place had begun to fill up with happy customers.
We independently decided to go for Filo Pastry Borek, which is described as Filo Pastry filled with feta cheese and parsley, and came with two amazing dips and some bready items. I don’t normally describe what I eat as having the wow factor but this did and there was enough of it to nearly fill us up. For the main, my friend chose chicken wings and I went for the lamb doner kebab, both served with rice and a spicy salad. While not having quite the same wow factor as our starter, possibly because it was not so different to what we might get if we ordered from a takeaway that did these items, it was still tasty and more than acceptable. We really did enjoy our chat and eating at the Terrace helped make for a pleasant occasion. I have no hesitation returning to the Terrace and recommending this restaurant to others. We note it offers a take away service and it is possible to order online, via its website (see here).