GETTING me to eat Greek and Turkish food is like asking me to buy a winning lottery ticket-you don’t have to ask me twice.

That is how I felt leaving with a belly full of hummus and pitta after visiting Agora in Bournemouth.

Walking through the door felt like stepping off the plane into the Mediterranean.

Furnished entirely with décor shipped from Istanbul and covered in framed pictures of Greece and Turkey. 

The room is lit with traditional mosaic lamps and candles, making it the perfect spot for romance or a cosy destination for a family meal.

No one cares more about serving authentic and delicious food than owners Seref and Leviza Canoglu.

My boyfriend and I sat down at our candle-lit table and were poured a large glass of Greek wine.

As vegetarians, we immediately scanned our menus to see the various dishes that were available. We were pleasantly surprised.

The menu was based on a blend of traditional Turkish and Greek fare, with an array of hot and cold mezze, casseroles and charcoal-grilled dishes.

Guests can watch, hear, and smell the dishes being prepared by Seref and Leviza, who brought their original flavours to old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth.

To start, we enjoyed a mix of hot and cold dishes: crispy fried halloumi cheese, savoury Borek filled with feta cheese, parsley, and mint, and a bowl of creamy hummus served with stone-cooked, smoky pitta bread.

Admittedly, I knew I’d enjoy my starter, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The pastry was crispy, the filling flavoursome, and the halloumi delicious.

I need to make an honourable mention of Agora’s homemade hummus, which is lemony, garlicky, and creamy—I could have eaten it with a spoon!

For mains, we shared a vegetarian moussaka consisting of layers of fried potatoes topped with onions, peppers, mushrooms, courgette, tomatoes and garlic, covered with fried aubergine and cheese, and served with rice.

Our second dish was a tasty mix of sliced and fried aubergine, courgette, peppers, potatoes, and mushrooms. It was served with fresh garlic yoghurt, known as yogurtlu kizartma.

The only downside to Agora is it’s on the more expensive side. However, I do believe you are paying for what you get, which is delicious food, great ambience, and friendly service—the perfect restaurant for a special occasion.