Irish Jo was invited down to De Roka, a restaurant at The Hub, to try their popular Turkish/Mediterranean style dishes. Let's see what she had to say...
I was incredibly excited when I was asked to review De Roka, especially as I had heard great things but hadn't yet had the chance to go. My first visit soon made me realise exactly what all the hype is about.
When you walk in, you are greeted by really friendly staff in the most exquisite décor I have ever come across... think Modern classy meets the Middle East. There was an instant feeling of being away on holiday, just what we need at the moment, with De Roka being like the kind of restaurant you experience when you are away. You would never believe that you are in the heart of Milton Keynes, and I was rather impressed already.
And then came the food.
I always love to give the host the choice of what to serve me as I can pretty much eat anything and I always feel there are exciting dishes that are sometimes overlooked in restaurants if they are not the “norm” to order.
Appetisers arrived with the tastiest bread I have ever had – this was almost fried (I think – there was no money they would take for recipe) along with gorgeous homemade hummus and cacik (meaning tzatziki). I always try to be careful with bread at this point as to not spoil my appetite for the rest but when it tastes that good, this is extremely difficult – so I ate ¾ of the portion and then tucked into the starters.
One word for anyone ordering starters at De Roka – “Borek”. Borek is filo pastry filled with feta cheese, spinach and mint and if that sounds straight-forward, I have a partner who would disagree as after three attempts, we still cannot even remotely make something similar.
Borek came as part of a platter “Mixed Hot Meze” which I would highly recommend as it covered all the tastes you would expect – just check out the pictures.
The mains were just as exciting, we had again a “Sharing Platter” including chicken shish, lamb shish, lamb ribs, chicken wings, Adana and Chicken Beyti. The dishes were so fragrant and tasted just as good.
The mains were also accompanied by a Turkish red wine which had the most delicious after taste.
Dessert was a different ball game, Espresso Martinis by the coolest in-house bartender ever to exist which tasted unlike any others I have had – the only thing I was missing was my 4 girlfriends and not my water-only drinking driving partner! The edible dessert was the famous Baklava which is a traditional dessert served with pistachio.
I had to ask Hassan and the lovely Melis how these flavours were so amazing and the dishes so tasty and the main ingredients are for the food being fresh and keeping the food authentic.
De Roka is the perfect place for group dinners, date nights and family dinners giving us all a touch of holidays in a time where travelling isn’t in the grasp of most people.
De Roka is my new favourite restaurant and I will be sure to make it my next date night!