Reading customer reviews of restaurants can be hilariously entertaining when you have the spare time. A one star review of Troia included a comment “was the chef even a human? was he/she a child? or was it an animal?”. Other comments were simply too rude to repeat on here. Alright Troia isn’t aspiring to be a Michelin-starred restaurant, but it is actually a very decent all-encompassing restaurant that caters for all tastes.
The decor might appear simple, but there are noteworthy Middle Eastern touches with authentic-looking regional prints on the wall and stunning multi-coloured chandeliers. The seats could be larger with sturdier backs, but overall the venue is an ideal stopover for those visiting the popular Southbank area.
It’s the kind of restaurant you would expect a solid Turkish-style menu, but they include steaks and pasta dishes; as they are clearly keen to corner the tourist market that frequent the London Eye and the nearby hotels.
The falafel we tried had excellent quantities of chickpeas and broad beans mixed in with spices, but was a tad over dry although it did mix well with the humous dip. My guest enjoyed a plate of humous which was carefully grounded chickpeas pureed with olive oil and mixed in with tahini, garlic paste and lemon juice. It’s the kind of starter dish which you could finish alongside a whole bowl of bread singlehandedly.
The main courses are well-portioned so either go hungry and plan on having 1-2 courses. If you are indecisive like my guests, my recommendation is to opt for the mixed grill, so you can try the various different meats like lamb and chicken grilled kebab style. The meats are carefully cooked separately so nothing is overdone and the filling dish comes with rice and salad. The mixed seafood stew does take longer to cook but well worth the wait with a plethora of seafood delights like prawn, squid and mussels all served in a very rich tomato and cream sauce. The accompanying basmati rice is ideal for soaking up this inviting sauce, although I would say they could have used slightly less cream in the dish.
Dessert are also divided into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern varieties. Rather than going for the classic baklava, we opted for a more traditional European dessert, a chocolate cake which was aptly named ‘Death by Chocolate’. It was utterly indulgent, rich and the kind of dessert you can’t resist ordering but also feel completely guilty after consuming it.
Troia is the kind of sturdy neighbourhood restaurant we all would like on our high street.