The Turkish restaurant in Heaton Moor with sizzling platters and its own ‘local Sultan’

Classic Turkish dishes... with a twist

By Manchester's Finest | 24 April 2024

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How many restaurants can boast their own Sultan? Not many. Or perhaps any.

Moorish, on Shaw Road in Heaton Moor, can however. And a big one too. Savas is a towering ex-soldier, who fought alongside the British Army in Iraq.

A gentle giant, now he dons a traditional Sultan’s robe and hat and welcomes guests to his best friend’s Hamit’s restaurant, usually on the weekends.

Even some of the dishes on the menu thread their way back to the times of the great Sultans of the Ottoman empire.


One of Hamit’s best sellers is the Hünkar Beğendi, translated as the ‘Sultan’s Delight’, a dish which, according to one tale, emerged during a hunting trip when the infamously brutal Sultan Murad IV unexpectedly demanded feeding.

On the spot, his chefs had to pull together a dish from nowhere, using leftover lamb and aubergines, and then hope they weren’t executed (Murad IV was not a patient man). They got away with it.

Another possible origin story involves Sultan Abdülaziz, a rather more gentle ruler, who was said to have fallen in love with Eugénie de Montijo, the wife of Napoleon.

In order to see her again, he invited her to Istanbul after Napoleon’s death on the pretext of coming to see the newly opened Suez Canal (as one does), during which the chefs at his palace observed the French counterparts in Eugénie’s entourage making a bechamel sauce.

As such, Hünkar Beğendi features this Western European touch, along with the flavours of spiced lamb and aubergine from the East.

Hamit is from Adana, the city just a hop from the Mediterranean which has its own kebab named after it. He grew up in his parent’s restaurant, ‘running around the tables, looking after customers, and also in the kitchen’.

This is his second place – he has another in Burnage called Istanbul Premiere Cafe, currently being refurbished – but he’s been in Manchester for nearly 20 years, cooking in hotel and pub kitchens.

Moorish features handmade fabrics, runners and soft furnishings, all imported from Turkey, as well as colourful glass lamps and other nicknacks to create an authentic ambience outside of what’s on the table.

Out the front, his two sons work front-of-house too, making this a real family business, just like the one he grew up in.


A lot of the dishes on the menu also have roots back to the family restaurant in Adana, but there are a fair few that Hamit has adapted himself. Stone dishes are heated until they’re shaking hot, after which the sizzling dishes are poured in and brought to the table, still bubbling.

The lamb, chicken and halloumi sizzlers platters are a speciality of the house, as is the hummus, served hot with mozzarella, alongside the more recognisably Turkish stuffed aubergines, sujuk sausage, feta cheese filo rolls and fabulous cold dips for the hot lamb.

“I was always dreaming to have my own business,” he says. “And now I have caught my dreams.”

Moorish Turkish Cuisine, 27 Shaw Rd, Stockport SK4 4AG