Food review, Ararat, Ipswich: “Fabulous aromatic Turkish food’ 

Meat, bulgher wheat and salad

Ararat mixed grill - Credit: Nicola Warren

Nicola Warren and her husband enjoy a lockdown lunch from this Suffolk restaurant. 

Another year, another lockdown, and one thing I miss – along with seeing family and friends – is going out for a meal. 

The chat with friendly serving staff, being presented with a delicious smelling plate of food and, perhaps best of all, not having to do the washing up afterwards. 

One restaurant we keep meaning to visit, and currently can’t due to the latest lockdown, is Ararat on Norwich Road in Ipswich. 

Luckily, they are offering a takeaway service, so on Monday we splashed out on a Turkish banquet from Ararat for our lunch. 

As a pescatarian, I was spoilt for choice with the starters, as all of the cold starters – from hummus to stuffed aubergine – are vegetarian, and many of the hot ones are too. 

Mucver starter on a spotty plate

Mucver starter - Credit: Nicola Warren

In the end I settled on a dish I hadn’t heard of before – mucver, which was made with grated courgettes, spring onions, feta cheese, combined with flour and eggs, and deep fried, served with yoghurt and feta cheese. I enjoyed this light, fluffy, well-seasoned dish.  

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Phil, meanwhile, had grilled halloumi cheese and Turkish sausage to start. The spicy sausage and slightly salty halloumi worked well together as an appetiser. 

Mains come under several different headings – there are barbecue dishes and specials, platters, kebabs, authentic cuisine, vegetarian and fish dishes and salads. 

Salmon, bulghur wheat, salad, flatbread and tzatziki

Pan-fried salmon - Credit: Nicola Warren

I couldn’t resist the salmon, which I chose to have pan fried in the special sauce. I think if I ordered it again, I would perhaps choose to have it charcoal grilled instead as the sauce was tomato and onion, which made it a bit too similar to the bulghur. I didn’t realise the bulghur would be tomato flavoured too. There is the option to choose sauteed potatoes or chips instead. The bulghur was perfectly cooked though, and was tasty and aromatic. 

This was all served with a carrot and red cabbage salad. We were also given some flatbread and tzatziki and chilli sauces, and these complemented the meal really well. 

Phil chose the mixed grill from the barbecue specials section of the menu.  

He was really impressed by the amount of meat on offer here – lamb shish, chicken shish, adana, chicken wings and lamb chop. All with bulghur and salad, plus the flatbread and sauces. He said the meat was succulent, with a lovely chargrilled flavour and delicious teamed with salad in the flatbread. 

Baklava dessert topped with chopped pistachio nuts

Baklava - Credit: Nicola Warren

For dessert, I had to go for the baklava – a crispy on the outside, soft and ever so sweet on the inside mix of layers of filo pastry and sugar syrup and chopped pistachio, which made me long for a holiday – another thing I’ve missed during these lockdowns.  

A shredded filo pastry dessert

Kunefe dessert - Credit: Nicola Warren

Phil chose kunefe - crispy shredded filo pastry, filled with sweet cheese, baked and served with syrup and chopped pistachios. He said it was not too sweet and the ideal end to the meal, a dish he would love to have again.  

The bill came to just over £50, which is a bit extravagant at lunchtime, and possibly even for a weekday dinner too, but the portions were very generous so you could easily feed more than two people on what we ordered (we were defeated by the main courses). 

We would love to visit Ararat when it is able to reopen, firstly for the fabulous aromatic food, and secondly so that we don’t have to do the washing up afterwards... 

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