There is nothing obvious to alert you to the fact that Antioch is a very good restaurant. It is located at the bottom of the High Street in Dunfermline towards The Glen in a row of forgettable takeaways and shops. The menu and interior are modest. Some pictures of Turkey decorate the walls and there are colourful lamps and plastic flowers. It doesn’t look hopeful. however, from the arrival of our starters, we know we are in for a treat.
Primarily it is the freshness of the fayre. Homemade fried cigar-shaped pastries ( Kiymal Sigara Boregi) are stuffed with salty feta and fresh leaf spinach. They are light, crisp, seasoned just so, and very moreish. Mr. Bite has the same pastries (Peynirli Sigara Boregi) but his are filled with herby meat. These tubular croquettes are scrumptious.
On the Mezze plate, Hummus is heavy on the tahini and thus smooth in texture. Thick yogurt Cicak is scooped up with just blistered bread from the charcoal grill which is also where the chef Emil watches the kebabs with a careful eye, gently turning a skewer here, a chicken piece there.
Mr. Bite has the Lamb Shish for the main course and the meat is smoky, juicy, and tender inside. It has obviously been marinaded. Even the Bulgar Wheat is good but regretfully barely touched as we have so much else to focus on. In my Moussaka that fragrant mince features again, this time presented in a shallow dish topped with tasty slices of potato and bubbly Bechamel.
Salad is vibrant and crunchy but like the Bulgar neglected amongst the feast before our eyes.
The only suggestion I would make is that some fresh wedges of lemon would gild the lily and the wine -by-the-glass list could be expanded. Honey-drenched Baklava with sweet mint tea is ordered and devoured. Thank goodness for our extra pudding tummies.
Antioch is homely and it feels a world away from any city pretensions. I feel very happy that I have found it and suspect it may become a ‘go-to’ for me and Mr. Bite. Emil cooks the sort of food I think I will come to crave. Juicy meat, fresh salads, Levantine sides.
11 Bridge Street, Dunfermline KY12 8AQ- 01383 722020