IT is inevitable that you will suffer from a serious dose of menu-envy while you are sat waiting for your food to arrive at A La Turka in Stockton Heath.

With a vast collection of Turkish and Mediterranean dishes on offer, it felt like a tall order to select just one dish for each course.

But with a glass of wine in our hands, my friend and I felt ready for the challenge and narrowed the menu down to a Lux Mezze sharing platter to start.

This was followed by a piri piri chicken kebab and chocolate fudge cake for Steph while I opted for the Istanbul spicy lamb and Turkish baklava on the advice of our waiter.

The starter arrived quickly and comprised of a selection of hummus, spinach with yoghurt, stuffed vine leaves, halloumi, feta cheese triangles, guacamole, Turkish sausages, aubergine salad and fish roe.

The eclectic mix of nibbles seemed like an odd combination but once we tucked in we quickly forgot that we were devouring a bowl of guacamole followed by what is essentially a cheaper version of caviar.

Next up was the piri piri chicken kebab and Istanbul spicy lamb, which both were accompanied by a bowl of rice.

While the chicken was a touch on the dry side, a hearty coating of the sauce sorted that out.

The lamb was delicious.

The sauce was rich and flavourful and the meat was cooked perfectly.

But the dessert was easily my favourite part of the meal.

Having been to Turkey a few years ago, I discovered the delights of baklava and haven’t looked back since.

While many places in the UK fail to get the baking of a baklava just right, the chefs at A La Turka certainly didn't struggle when making these petit pastries.

The pastry was light, rich and sweet – just how it should be and certainly not for anyone on a diet.

Unfortunately, Steph forced me to share the baklava but luckily the chocolate fudge cake was a wise second choice.

The three courses were followed by a cocktail in sizeable glasses – like a fishbowl on legs.

Strawberry Garden and Strawberry Haze were a refreshing end to an enjoyable evening which was made all the more sweeter by the friendly and attentive staff.

To book a table call 551647.