Mangal Turkish Restaurant in ReadingBy Phil Creighton
April 14, 2010
Normally, we like to give you a picture of the food you can enjoy in the restaurant we review. But Mangal is different. Totally different. And that’s why there’s a picture of the food being cooked on this page.
Mangal is a Turkish restaurant on Kings Road – on the site of the former Ha! Ha! canteen – and says it’s Berkshire’s only authentic Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant.
What makes it unique is that you can watch your meal being cooked on a large-scale barbecue grill. Just don’t get too close or you’ll start to look like you’ve been to a Turkish baths instead of a restaurant. It’s very hot.
The restaurant has been doing a roaring trade, especially at weekends where you will often find a belly dancer entertaining diners on a Saturday night.
The menu is just what you’d expect in the Med: meze platters, kebabs, fish and fresh breads. It’s also authentically fresh.
We started with the mixed meze platter (£6.50), a good way to introduce yourself to some of the flavours on the menu. The selection will be different each time, but expect humous and tarama (taramasalata) dips with salads. It also came with a kalamar (breaded fried squid) and salad.
To accompany it, we enjoyed the hellumi peyniri – grilled halloumi cheese, £5.50. Delicious and tasty, it brought back memories of sun-kissed days in the Med.
The platters were big enough to share without spoiling our appetite for what was to come. Which is just as well as portions are very generous and most of the main courses are meat-based, although there are a good mix of veggie ones.
My main was the tavuk kanat, £8.50, marinated chicken wings served with bulgar wheat and a salad garnish. There must have been a dozen chicken wings on the plate. Cooked on the grill, their juices had been sealed in and were delicious.
With such a big plateful, I struggled to finish: a couple less wings and some more salad would have been appreciated.
The same was true of my friend’s lamb sis, £9.50, a delicious platter of lamb cubes, again with bulgar wheat and salad.
Thoroughly delicious, but the portions were too generous.
My wife opted for the inspanakli pide, £7.50 – a kind of pizza with a topping of your choice. Being veggie, Judith went for spinach and cheese, but other choices are available. She loved it.
We were stuffed so had to decline some traditional Turkish desserts: sweet, sticky syrupy pastries that looked delicious.
Sadly, the Turkish tea wasn’t ready when we visited, but if it’s on offer it’s a must. It’s just £1 a shot. With a children’s menu and plenty of room, it’s a great place to come along for a great night out. Recommended.
- Telephone: (0118) 950 4039
- Website: www.mangalreading.com
32-36 Kings Road