Shop Local: Turkish restaurant dishes are great for winter

Meze by Day, Meze by Night. Photo: Supplied by Engin Yildirim.

Meze by Day, Meze by Night. Photo: Supplied by Engin Yildirim. - Credit: Supplied by Engin Yildirim

A family restaurant which focuses on Turkish cuisine has a “proper” barbecue, fish and stew dishes, as the weather gets colder.

Meze by Day, Meze by Night. Photo: Supplied by Engin Yildirim.

Meze by Day, Meze by Night. Photo: Supplied by Engin Yildirim. - Credit: Supplied by Engin Yildirim

Maze by Day, Meze by Night in Saffron Walden will offer indoor seating at its Market Street premises, as well as continue takeaway and delivery services.

Owner Engin Yildrum said: “Everything is made to order. We have meat dishes but also food for vegetarians.

“We buy ingredients every few days. We get proper meat, proper fresh foods.”

Many of their dishes are accompanied by bulgur, a ‘healthier option’ to rice.

Meze by Day, Meze by Night. Photo: Supplied by Engin Yildirim.

Meze by Day, Meze by Night. Photo: Supplied by Engin Yildirim. - Credit: Supplied by Engin Yildirim


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The restaurant plays Turkish music and has a variety of wines, from Turkish to Italian and Australian.

Engin studied catering and worked in hotels and tourism in Turkey, on cruise ships in America and in various restaurants.

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He wanted to open his own restaurant, so he left busy Istanbul for a “quieter” Saffron Walden where he found a good community.

He said: “People are very nice. They look after each other and are respectful, I like that. When they come to our restaurant, they want to have a good time.

“Having worked in business for a long time, I think you have to be honest with your customers, always.”

Engin thinks having a niche restaurant helped him attract more customers, and he sees the value in shopping locally.

He identified both challenges and opportunities: “It’s very hard. Saffron Walden has very expensive rent.

“I think Saffron Walden needs tourism, and instead of going to a big chain, come to your small local shop. I think if we had more varied businesses this would help everyone.”

Engin said he is hoping there will be a festival in the market square next year, which his restaurant can join.

“People could sit outside. It’s going to help a lot of people and businesses,” he said.

You can find their menu and contact details on mazebarandgrill.co.uk and follow their Facebook page for updates @MazeBarandGrill.

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