On a recent weekday, I met a friend for lunch in the Exchange Place / Jersey City area and we decided to go to Rumi Turkish Grill. Rumi Turkish Grill is a small Turkish bistro / restaurant that ought to be really busy for the impressive quality of food that it serves. There was a lunch special of an appetizer, entrée, and a drink all for $12.95 and it was well worth the money given the high quality and taste of all dishes that we got. Rumi Turkish Grill is certainly not as expensive as Amelia’s Bistro or Light Horse Tavern (both are sit-down restaurants and have a good spread for lunch too, but their food is more American comfort food).
Inside Rumi Turkish Grill
At Rumi Turkish Grill we got the hummus, a spicy vegetable spread, chicken adana kebab and chicken sheesh kebab. I got a house made Ayran to drink, although I was tempted by some nectars (peach, apricot, and sour cherry).
We got some warm pita bread straight off the grill as soon as we ordered. The hummus and the spicy vegetable spread came shortly after. The hummus was smooth, slightly creamy, and with adequate tahini for good flavor. While this was not the best hummus one can have in the NYC area, it was certainly at the higher end of the spectrum on quality. The spicy vegetable was delicious – it tasted like a spicy muhammara. The vegetable spread was made with minced tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, nuts and herbs with olive oil. I wish they had used less oil, but other wise, this dish was excellent!
Hummus with warm pita bread at Rumi Turkish Grill in Jersey City
Spicy Vegetable spread and warm pita bread at Rumi Turkish Grill in Jersey City
Chicken sheesh kebab was marinated and grilled chicken breast cubes served on a skewer (In my frame of reference, i.e., in Indian restaurants a chicken sheesh kebab is usually made with minced chicken). This dish looked closer to the tandoori chicken tikkas but without the excessive red food coloring seen in Indian restaurants. The rice was warm and was cooked with salt and butter. The grilled jalapeño added heat if one required it.
Chicken sheesh kebab with a grilled tomato, a grilled pepper and warm rice at Rumi Turkish Grill in Jersey City
The chicken adana kebab
tasted great – this looked and tasted an Indian chicken sheesh kebab. Well spiced, marinated and grilled minced chicken. The chicken adana kebab that I have had in Pera Mediterranean Brasserie
(a post coming up on Not Just Vegetarian soon) looks red.
Chicken adana kebab with a grilled tomato, grilled pepper and warm rice at Rumi Turkish Grill in Jersey City
The Ayran was refreshing! For those not familiar with Ayran, it’s like chaas
/ neer mor
(thin yoghurt drink) served in Indian restaurants. I like Ayran with more salt and it was easy to do so (as it is anywhere, so long as the restaurant keeps salt handy on the table).
Housemade Ayran (yoghurt drink) at Rumi Turkish Grill in Jersey City
Rumi Turkish Grill is a great place to get lunch in the Exchange Place / Jersey City area. We had a late lunch and it was not too busy, but I suspect the restaurant would have been busier closer to noon. If not, it ought to be, because the food is extremely tasty and is of high quality for the price!!
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