Samaan – Mill Road

Saaman is a fantastic turkish and syrian restaurant on Mill Road Cambridge

My mother and I both had the day off Tuesday, so thought we would make the most of it by going out for lunch. One of my favourite things to do is spontaneously walk down Mill Road discover myself another hidden gem down the essential foodie hub of Cambridge.

The last time I strolled down here I unexpectedly found Damasbridge which is now one of my favourite restaurants in the city. This is what makes Mill Road so exciting, places are opening down here all the time and you just don’t know what you are going to discover next!

One thing I noticed about walking down Mill Road for lunch on a Tuesday is how many places are closed on this day. As Mill Road is dominantly an independently run street, we found that Tuesday is the general day they all agree to close. This was disappointing (if not understandable) as we had hoped to try a place hot on the Cambridge Foodies group called Fancetts which was unfortunately closed.

All was not lost however as we managed to find a nice place still open called Samaan which offers a selection of Mediterranean, Turkish, and Kurdish dishes. The place looked lovely on the inside and the menu outside had many of my mum and I’s favourites, so we decided to give it a whirl.

The place was incredibly well decorated and really spacious on the inside. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it was very classy. I was particularly taken by the stunning lamps which were on display across the window. I have seen these in the Taj Tandoori before and they have always made whatever place they are decorating pop. We sat by the window so we could people watch (which has always been a favourite pass time of mine on Mill Road) but found myself more engrossed by the beautiful interior decorating of the restaurant.

As we were going for lunch we didn’t feel like ordering a mains, so we had a look at some selection of starters on the menu. There was a good selection of both hot and cold dishes which made choosing quite challenging for indecisive people like ourselves.

Luckily, at Samaan’s had us covered with a choice of hot and cold mixed platters which gives you a selection of different food to try. This is a fantastic option for someone who is perhaps not familiar with food from this part of the world and wants to try a bit of everything and for people like us who fancied something light.

The presentation of the cold platter was visually stunning. This came with Cacik V – which is an assortment of yogurt, mint dip, and cucumber, all served in a mint dip and olive oil. This was presented with Dolma on the side which are stuffed wraps which came with hummus. This was utterly delicious and probably my favourite dish of the two.

The warm platter came with a selection of samosas, calamari (bread crumb squid), and a few other gems which escape me but were equally delicious. They also came with a sauce in the middle for dipping as they would be quite dry without it. I would have liked to see more sauce with this dish as we ran out quickly and had to use the left overs from the cold platter (luckily there was LOADS from the cold dish but if you were ordering this on its own then you may find it a little dry).

I was really impressed to see the generous amount of squid in the calamari which could have easily been scrimped on for the sake of cost saving.

My mum ordered a peach smoothie drink which was really well presented in a nice glass jar. I thought it was a very generous portion and something quite interesting for someone not drinking alcohol. Often you find that other than tea/coffee and coke there are rarely good none alcoholic alternatives in restaurants but this made an interesting substitute. As it was thick the drink lasted the meal too and I bet it was packed with vitamins.
I ordered a Samaan coffee which was very nice. Frankly, I had no idea what I was ordering and the coffee was significantly smaller than I originally imagined but had a very deep and intense flavour which I thoroughly enjoyed.

We both felt like the bill came to a fair amount and paid without feeling like we had lost out. Everything seems to be priced well at Samaan’s.

We had a fantastic lunch by the end. We could not finish both dishes by ourselves but it was light enough to not make us feel too bloated. The service was prompt and polite the entire way through and the restaurant was gorgeous and tastefully decorated. I am thoroughly looking forward to coming back and exploring the menu further in the future.

Please let us know on the Cambridge Foodies what you think if you have been before!

Phone: 01223 478 804


Address: 74, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS.

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