For years, there was a little-used supermarket on Abbeydale Road in Nether Edge. Having changed hands at least once, it was eventually closed for good. We were incredibly surprised to hear it was being converted into a Turkish restaurant and couldn’t see at all how it would work.
How wrong we were! Mavi Ruya is buzzing! We tried to book for a family meal one Saturday evening, but we couldn’t get a table, so we had to opt for Sunday tea time instead. When we arrived, they were turning away some speculative would-be diners. They are clearly doing something right.
Once you step inside, you’d have no idea you were standing in an ex supermarket. They have gone to town on the design, with authentic-looking floor tiles, geometric wall surfaces and eye catching light fittings. The first things that greets you are a huge counter displaying all their meat on massive skewers and a wonderful chargrill spicy aroma.
Once seated upstairs, we were given menus that appeared to have gluten free dishes marked on but it looked like they had only got as far as the mezze dishes. There were plentiful GF options here, with hummous, baba ganoush, halloumi and mushroom, prawns, Turkish sausage and others. However, the charcoal grill main courses didn’t seem to have any GFs. When we asked our waitress, we were told that although most of the meat elements are gluten free, many are served with bread and / or rice containing vermicelli. However, they do have a separate chip fryer, so any of the main courses can be served with chips instead, or baby potatoes. Phew! (Another significant component of the menu is Turkish pizzas, which are definitely not gluten free, but there remained plenty to choose from.)
A dish very quickly arrived containing some very pillowy-looking bread in between two dips. Obviously that wasn’t gluten free at all, but we were immediately offered an alternative of the dips with cucumber sticks instead. To be honest, my initial reaction was disappointment about the lack of a gluten free bread for dipping, but in reality, we were better off with cucumber given the gigantic meals we were about to devour!
We ordered a selection of mezze to share for starters, thinking they would be fairly tiny plates, but they were really quite big portions. You can’t really tell from the photo above, as I’ve only loaded up a one-person sized amount. But in all honesty, a couple more mezzes between us and we wouldn’t have really needed main courses.
So we ate the starters reasonably slowly (the service was pretty fast) and they were all lovely. The halloumi was really soft and perfectly crisp on the outside, and the baba ganoush was deliciously light. We all enjoyed the garlic-y Turkish sausage. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms, but I’m told they were excellent as well.
Then we had to prepare ourselves for our massive main courses. I had ordered Ali Nazik, from the specials, which is lamb shish served with baba ganoush* and a tomato sauce (with chips intead of rice) and SteelyMcSteel had the regular lamb shish, which came with a mountain of salad and chips (instead of rice and bread).
* I’m starting to sound obsessed with baba ganoush, but in my defence, the menu described the ingredients of baba ganoush separately, “Chargrilled aubergines, garlic, tahini, yoghurt and lamb shish” so I was expecting lamb and chargrilled aubergine.
I’d have been less over-faced with the shish and the salad, without the chips! However, it tasted brilliant and I did manage to polish off most of it.
Needless to say, we didn’t have a dessert, but I don’t think there were many options there other than ice cream.
593 Abbeydale Road Sheffield S7 1TA