11:00 to 21:00 Mon to Sun
Price Range (p/p)
Medium | R100 - R300
Turkish restaurants are popping up all over South Africa. What’s great is that many of them are not just your average kebab and shawarma spot. The latest openings are presenting sophisticated dining with upmarket settings. Lokkum Restaurant is the latest addition. Situated in the Fourways Mall in Johannesburg, and having barely opened 3 weeks ago, they have already made a splash on the halaal food scene.
We went for lunch on a month-end Saturday. Perhaps it was because Covid is still keeping people at home, but the mall was not too busy. After some confusion navigating the parking, we parked at the lower level parking which happened to be right at the entrance where the restaurant is located. This is also the entrance that leads to the food court and movies.
The restaurant is dim and cosy with a beautiful backlit feature wall on one side. Scalloped drapes make an interesting ceiling feature on the inside section of the restaurant. Glass doors lead to an outside area with a jungle gym. Only slightly more casual this section is great for families with kids and parents who want to be seated nearby to keep an eye on them.
It was surprisingly quiet for lunchtime with only 2 other tables occupied. They were fuller late afternoon when we passed by after exploring the mall. Service was swift and a table appetiser of some very instagrammable bread and dips was offered. The dips comprised a herbed butter which I initially mistook for tzatziki because it was very white. A tangy and fresh tomato sauce and a delicious crumbly cheese unlike any I had tasted before. The manager later explained it was a Turkish traditional cheese that they also sell from the deli section of the restaurant.
We were also offered a selection of meze, presented on a large tray which the waiter brought around, which comes at R40 a plate. The appetiser was already substantial and anything additional would be a recipe for taking half of our meal home, so we chose to forego the meze in favour of our mains. I loved the presentation though.
We chose the Ali Nazik, a chicken Pide and the Lokkum Kofte. There is no children’s menu but the pide’s are suitable for the little ones. Everything was presented with flair. The stylish green crockery with gold trim was a well-chosen canvas for the food and the marble tabletops a gorgeous backdrop. The Ali Nazik, cubes of lamb served on a bed of pureed aubergine and yoghurt was substantial. The lamb was tasty and tender. The dish is not served with any kind of bread, and could have used some to scoop up some of the gravy. The kebab was was also a well-sized portion, served with a thin flatbread, salad and a delicious bulghar rice. The pride was quite big and would suffice well even for an adult.
They have the usual suspects on the drinks menu including some Turkish drinks like the popular Gazoz soda (similar to Sprite), and a Hibiscus and Pomegranate Sherbet which they sadly did not have that day and promptly deflated my excitement at wanting to try it. They also have non-alcoholic wine as an option but you’d have to purchase the bottle at between R120 to R200. Mains are from R110 (Kebab) to R220 (Fillet Steak). Pides average R100.
We were surprised with a complimentary dessert platter that included their homemade Creme Caramel and a Turkish Semolina dessert, which is a bit like a very syrupy gulab jamun. Not really my cup of tea, but the creme caramel was superb. They also have traditional desserts like Baklava and Sutlac (rice pudding).
They are open every day for lunch and dinner. It’s a great spot to take the family but would also be a nice venue for an intimate dinner for two.