In the heart of the North Laine, something exciting is happening at the market. Over the next four months, Diplock’s Yard on North Road plays host to Brighton’s newest and undoubtedly coolest pop-up Cypriot kebab restaurant, Papa Pitta. Yoddi Papa and Tansy are the driving force behind Brighton & Hove’s imminent kebab-volution and the team are seeking to create a new experience for diners – serving kebabs as they should be served, cooked well with passion, style and in a fun, friendly environment.
Once you make your way through the market and have perused the eclectic furniture you will be able to see that there is so much to love about Papa Pitta. Through good use of lighting and decoration, they have managed to create a real holiday vibe. Tables are stylishly adorned with flowers and framed photos, capturing childhood memories of the Papa family. Papa Pitta is so wonderfully unassuming; they want you to feel welcome, comfortable and part of the family.
Despite its location, the restaurant is bright with pops of colour dotted around and it’s perfectly placed for up and coming balmy seasonal nights. Some well-thought out features are the outdoor heaters and blankets, readily available if a mid-summer chill sets in.
After taking in the restaurant and having a nose at the open kitchen, we are enthusiastic to sample the menu and get our eaton. To start we chose the Beetroot Salad (£3.50) with Chargrilled Flatbread and Dips (£3).
I’m not usually a beetroot person, it doesn’t do it for me, but my friend insisted that we try it. It was served with crumbled feta, crushed walnut and honey and mint dressing. This generous portion of beetroot salad actually became the standout dish of the evening for me. The beetroot was deliciously transformed and I am now officially converted.
Now, I’m very specific about how I like meat cooked and can be hard to please on this front. When eating out, I usually play it safe and go with the vegetarian option. However, after the success of the starter, I decided to put my trust in Papa and couldn’t resist the smell of the chicken and the sausage! The aroma infusing this pop-up restaurant was delightful and there’s something so exciting about watching your food being cooked which makes a fusspot like me feel at ease.
So sod it, I went all in. Our mains came quickly and soon our table was adorned with Cypriot delights. Traditional Chicken and Halloumi Kebabs (from £6.50) cooked ‘souvlaki’ style – meaning to cook over charcoal on a skewer – arrived first. These were stuffed with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion, parsley, tzatziki and chilli sauce. The chilli sauce was how I like it – HOT – and the chicken was cooked perfectly and was very tasty. We chose ‘Badada’ Chips (£2.50) and ‘Sheftalias’ (£4) – traditional Cypriot herb & black pepper sausage – to accompany our kebabs. Badada Chips are well seasoned with oregano, fried twice and served with crumbled feta. These were spot on but I must warn you: moreish doesn’t even begin to describe them. The sausage was bursting with flavour and enough to prove to me I definitely need more Cypriot sausage in my life. Papa’s portions for each and every dish were generous, the kind of generosity we all secretly expect but rarely get.
We sank numerous drinks during our visit, noting particularly that the white wine complimented each dish beautifully and in keeping with Cypriot style, we finished our meal off with a refreshing bottle of ‘Keo Cypriot Lager’ (£3).
Papa Pitta ticks all the boxes as a reasonably priced eatery. The menu’s simplicity is what makes it brilliant. Plus, with vegetarian, gluten free and children’s menu options available, they ensure that they are accessible and relevant.
Yoddi has bucket loads of personality and this is reflected in the atmosphere and vibe created by him and the Papa Pitta team. His smile is infectious with each and every diner absorbed his warm personality – he’s providing the personal touch and service, as it should be. It seems that they have thought of everything.
By Ellie Talebian