Antioch, Dunfermline

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 but from the arrival of our starters, we know we are in for a treat. Primarily it is the freshness. The homemade fried cigar-shaped pastries ( (KIYMALI 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 delicacies are like tubular croquettes but it is the impression of them being cooked with the satisfaction of the eater in mind that really elevates them. On the Mezze plate Hummus that is heavy on the tahini and thus smooth in texture. Thick yoghurt Cicak is scooped up with bread recently blistered on the charcoal grill which is also where the chef Emil watches the kebabs with a careful eye. He gently turns a skewer here, a chicken piece there. Mr. Bite has the Lamb Shish for main course and the meat is smoky, juicy and still tender in the middle. It has obviously been marinaded. Even the Bulgar Wheat is good but regretfully barely touched as we have so much else to focus on. My Moussaka has that fragrant mince 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

Antioch, Dunfermline