When I first heard the news that a Turkish restaurant was opening up on Deansgate, it was nothing but music to my ears. There is certainly a gap across Manchester’s dining scene for a good quality, beautiful Turkish restaurant. And when I spied the interior design and layout of the place – which used to be the home of Prezzo – I had high hopes.
Kai has been open for around a month now, hosting an authentic Turkish with a contemporary twist for Manchester diners. I headed down to Kai last week to give the place a go and review it for the blog, so lets take a look at my thoughts…
First of all, I came along with my Vegan friend, which was intetesting as I knew this place had received raving reviews for it’s extensive meat dishes from the grill. But it doesn’t just offer grill favourites, it presents Turkish inspired salads and freshly made pitta breads all served mezze style, perfect for friends or groups to dine together.
They also have nibbles, starters and sharers ranging from vegetables based delights to meat based. So there is a fair bit of variety.
The drinks menu also has some cocktails made with traditional Turkish spirits. One that caught my eye was the Rakoni, which infuses Turkish Raki. Interesting!
As I mentioned above, the restaurant has been given a stunning refurbishment that includes a beautiful flowered ceiling, vases of opulent pretty roses and plush leather seating. Very Instagram, I couldn’t help but think!
We decided to go for a mezze board selection between us, with a few vegan friendly options on the side. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I eat literally anything, and I know that diners that come here will really enjoy the big meaty dishes such as Tomahawk steak and whole lamb ribs, carved at the table.
I spied a few slow-cooked lamb shanks and kebabs coming out to other tables, which looked mouth watering. Keeping it ‘mezze’, the board we ordered consisted of a fair few famous Turkish ‘balloon’ breads (which is a large flatbread which inflates with hot air as it cooks, absolutely incredible and the softest tear-able bread I’ve had in a long while).
We also had the delicious humus, olives and babaganush – a vegetable mix which I’d never tried before. Also brought out on the board was pots of creamy garlic mushrooms, sujuk, kofte, spinach and feta borek with dips, and chunks of soft hollumi.
Sadly upon my visit they had completely ran out of calamari rings and falafel, which I know my vegan guest was quite excited to feast on the falafel. Maybe next time we’ll head back to try this!
The mezze board we ordered comes to £18, and you can tweak the offerings a little if you want to replace items. Our waitress was more than accommodating and open to switch a few things up, especially to cater for my Vegan guest.
For £18, we received more than enough food for two hungry girls at lunchtime. But in all honestly, with how delicious the Turkish bread was, I could have sat there and dipped the bread in the humus all afternoon and just sank myself into a bread coma.
Steaks range from £25 – £70, meat kebabs £16-£30, pides and salads around £6-£8, and obviously you can pick at a few sides and starters to create your own meals. It really does cater for a range of budgets and tastes.
I genuinely enjoyed my food, and would love to come back to experience some of the missing items from the day. The venue itself is stunning and a lovely escape from the bustling Deansgate – it actually felt like we were in an upmarket London cocktail bar, without the pretentious vibe.
I’ll definitely be back…