Ephesus Rodley review: Why I was blown away by this restaurant serving authentic Turkish dishes in Leeds

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I’m lucky enough to have reviewed many Leeds restaurants – and this is the best I have visited in a long, long time.

Rodley is an area of Leeds I had not previously explored too much, but I had heard nothing but rave reviews about a Turkish restaurant in the area, Ephesus.

Located on Rodley Lane, it has a deceptively spacious interior beyond its bright and inviting front. There is outdoor seating available too, however the breeze had me worried my cutlery would go flying down the road.

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If you have ever been to Turkey, you will feel a sense of deja vu upon entering the restaurant. It pays homage to the country in a stylish manner without compromising on comfort. In fact, I distinctly remember being very excited by the comfy chair after my partner dashed to grab the booth side of the table.

The Ephesus can be found in Rodley, Leeds. Image: Simon HulmeThe Ephesus can be found in Rodley, Leeds. Image: Simon Hulme
The Ephesus can be found in Rodley, Leeds. Image: Simon Hulme

Having worked up quite an appetite on the day of my visit, I plumped for the restaurant’s three-course special. I thought three courses for £27.50 represented decent value, but I was wrong.

It was sensational value.

The hot meze platter starter was an absolute feast, consisting of muska boregi, sucuk, calamari, cheesy peppers, falafel and halloumi.

Sucuk is a dry and spicy sausage popular in Turkey, and was a real standout on a plate bursting at the seams with Turkish treats. The muska boregi, pastry filled with spinach and cheese, was also wonderfully elegant and the perfect pairing for the heavier meats.

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Next up was the main course, another stacked platter of food that had me drooling.

It consisted of Adana, lamb and chicken skewers as well as lamb cutlets, served with rice, cacik, spicy ezeme and salad.

Everything was seasoned and spiced to perfection, making it so much more than just a tray packed with meat. The lamb was tender and beautifully medium-rare, bringing out the sweetness of the meat.

All of this was washed down with Efes, a lovely Turkish beer served in a barrel-shaped bottle.

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For dessert, I opted for a New York cheesecake and my partner went for the chocolate fudge cake. The cheesecake was just the subtly delicious sweet treat I needed after two meat-heavy courses.

It was flavoursome and soft without being sickly, rounding off the meal in the perfect way. My partner’s fudge cake was more decadent but was also delicious.

Service was friendly and in no way robotic – our servers were warm and personable, adding to the pleasantness of the overall experience.

The sheer amount of food we received – as well as the undeniable quality of it all – left me blown away by the fact it cost less than £30 each.

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Good food isn’t hard to come by in Leeds but in these challenging economic times, I do often feel like I’ve parted ways with more money than I would have liked to.

I didn’t feel like this at all upon leaving Ephesus – which was good news for the charming pubs located nearby I felt I could visit afterwards.


Address: 4 Rodley Ln, Rodley, Leeds LS13 1HU

Telephone: 0113 256 1668

Opening hours: 12-10pm daily


Food: 10/10

Value: 9/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Service: 9/10

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