…and don’t forget the mocktails

Chorlton’s Zitano is right in the heart of things on Beech Road and it’s full of heart too. You can tell that it’s a real taste of home for the team – sunny Mediterranean flavours made with love.

 The question is, do you go for one of their exciting new dishes or stick with a customer favourite? Why not do both as long as you leave room for one of the brand new homemade puddings. Start off with chef’s special meze platter – one of Zitano’s most popular dishes and rightly so – and then tuck into brand new dish, apricot lamb.

 The chef’s special meze is strictly for sharing; the vibrant platter that arrives is literally laden with goodies and everything is homemade. Sucuk, or Turkish sausage, and kofte strike the balance between a lovely lamby flavour which comes from the fat yet aren’t remotely greasy.

 The musca borek, or feta and spinach triangles, are a real standout – crisp filo pastry and a slightly salty moreishness from the filling. Along with the falafel, the Musca borek also feature on the vegetarian platter and there is also a vegan platter available.  

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 The platter includes an array of pots for dipping your flatbreads into – you know the drill. Houmous, tzatziki etc. However, these aren’t just the standard fare. The flatbreads arrive freshly-cooked and beautifully blistered whilst the usual accompaniments of houmous and tzatziki are really good examples of their type. The lemon couscous is fresh and zingy, the ezme, or chilli salsa, is great with a slight sour tang but the carrot tarator is a revelation. Sweet carrot and savoury feta is a match made in heaven – try it for yourself and see.

The apricot lamb is one of the new dishes on Zitano’s menu and it won’t be long before it becomes a real customer favourite too. The lamb neck is slow-cooked and falls apart as you put your knife in and the gently warming apricot sauce with its notes of star anise and cinnamon is almost like a hug. A bit of comfort on a winter’s day.

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 Round off your meal with one of Zitano’s new home-made puddings. The sticky toffee pudding with its rich treacly sweetness is perfect for cold weather. After all, this date-filled delight was invented in the Lake District in the 70s – if it’s fortifying enough to see you up a few Wainwrights, it’ll certainly warm your innards for a stroll round Chorlton.

 The crème brulée is an obvious classic and tiramisu always feels like an indulgent end to a meal and one that perks you up if you’re feeling full and sleepy.. The tiramisu at Zitano is alcohol-free which means you don’t have to miss out on that tiramisu taste if you’re not drinking. Amp up your caffeine intake by pairing it with an espresso martini. The cocktails at Zitano are good. Very good.

Although, if you’re not drinking, perhaps a martini is not the way to go. It doesn’t matter – Zitano also offer a wide range of mocktails. Sunrise in Istanbul is a real fruity drink, packed with passion fruit whilst the non-alcoholic raspberry mojito has a refreshing tartness.

Cocktails and a menu to make you smile – what more could you ask?

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