I have holidayed a fair few times in Turkey and it is a truly fascinating country, especially if you are into antiquities. Ephesus is a wonder to behold and on a par (in my view) with most of what the Romans put up.
I have always thought Turkish cuisine to be criminally underrated and, notwithstanding it’s seeming lowly status on the list of the World’s great cuisines, one of the joys of holidaying there has always been the food including rather bountiful and always interesting breakfasts.
Cheeses, cured meat, salad and breads are part and parcel of a typical Turkish breakfast. Eggs are also always a big element of any such breakfast, be they fried (tavada yumata) or scrambled (menemen).
This bring me to Sen Bros (or is it Hojas – it seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis based on the website, signage and menu), a rather unassuming looking place on Canton’s food loaded strip (Cowbridge Road East), doing Turkish breakfast and lunch dishes.
It is a tad rough and ready on the outside
and it certainly hasn’t got the external asthetic charm of Longa on Whitchurch Road.
So not very Instagramable (a medium I increasingly can’t be bothered with, with the #toinfinityandbeyond, and I am actually rather proud of the fact that I have no idea how to do a reel – going against the flow I know), but do people really care if the food is good? I certainly don’t and would happily eat my dinner in a skip (aka my car) if the food was top notch.
It is rather more salubrous on the inside,
with an interesting looking menu offering both lunch and breakfast options
I was there for breakfast and more specifically the menemen.
Menemen is a sort of pimped up scrambled eggs, with additions in the form of tomatoes, chilli peppers and herbs and spices (and much more should you so wish).
My menemen (£9.50, with the sucuk, a spicy cured, usually beef or lamb, sausage) had plenty of chilli pepper and the aforementioned sucuk to really pep up the flavour.
Lovely creamy eggs, cooked on point, with acidity from tomatoes and a freshness from bountiful herbs.
The sucuk was cut into thin batons and liberally laced throughout the eggs adding a kiss of spice, on top of more than a tingle of heat from chilli peppers, to proceeding.
Decent (and very generously apportioned) bread,
was great for mopping up the residual menemen.
Drinks wise I am a sucker for Turkish coffee (quite thick – which I can relate too – and sweet, which I can’t – oddly I despise the merest grain of sugar in standard coffee, but with Turkish coffee it is a case of pass me the sugar shovel) which I like so the spoon stands up in it.
Probably a huge faux pas drinking this for breakie, with Turkish tea the usual drink, but I just really like the sludgy stuff.
Satisfyingly soupy like, I think I could have eaten it with a fork. Just how I like it.
A follow up visit, at lunch time, bought the wider lunchtime menu into play
including that Turkish staple borek (a full on filo affair).
I went for the spinach and cheese borek (£7.00),
which has a light crisp pastry casing and a bountiful gooey interior.
The richness of the tangy cheese was balanced nicely by a decent amount of well cookd spinach, soft caramelised onion and a nicely dressed side salad.
No pointless salad garnish here, thankfully.
Generous portion size, for the price tag, I thought. I really enjoyed this.
More conventionally I went for a Turkish tea with this.
Surprisingly refreshing on a hot day.
Fancy something a bit different from your standard breakfast fair? Well this cafe certainly fits the bill.
I rather enjoyed my menemen, which had a pleasingly spicy kick to it.
At first sight the £9.50 price tag seems quite alot for what is essentially pimped up scrambled eggs. Having checked Longa’s menu (prices inevitably have gone up since I reviewed it back in 2020), however, it is (with the addition of the sucuk) actually £2 cheaper here. As such the pricing must be sub par for the course and its seeming costliness is just a case of prices of pretty much everything these days going upwards at a rate of knots.
Lunch was equally as good, with an excellent (and rather good value) borek.
With me no longer a city centre worker I am always on the look out for eating out option in the burbs and this is (all in all) a pretty good option for breakie or lunch in Canton (it is easy to park in the vicinity, with Grey Street car park often less busy the the more adjacent Severn Road one).
Ignore the somewhat unflattering facade and give it a go is my advice.
Address: 122 Cowbridge Road East, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9DX.