Amongst those who are unfamiliar with Mediterranean cuisine there is a popular belief that eating at a Mediterranean restaurant means choosing from a menu of Italian and Spanish food, however this is only partly true. Mediterranean restaurants in the UK offer a wide range of cuisine from Europe, Asia and Africa in a menu that covers flavours from sixteen countries close to the Mediterranean Sea including Morocco, Greece, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt.
Over the years eating Mediterranean cuisine has become an increasing popular culinary pastime, as the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet become more widely know. Dieticians and nutritionists often praise Mediterranean cuisine for its reliance on vegetables and olive oil, and the health benefits that result from this.
So whether you're looking for colourful cuisine to enjoy or a healthy eating out option then head to your local Mediterranean restaurant.
Mediterranean Restaurants - Flavours to Savour
Although Mediterranean restaurants combine dishes from three continents there are some defining flavours that give the food a distinct quality. At the heart of Mediterranean restaurant food you'll find grains, vegetables, fruits, pasta and of course olive oil. These ingredients combined with popular additions like garlic, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, onions and fresh herbs help to create dishes from Spain, Italy, North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and beyond.
Mediterranean Restaurants - First Visit Food
The UK is well known for its ability to adopt cuisine from other countries and because of this visiting a Mediterranean restaurant in the UK should not be a daunting experience as you'll probably recognise several dishes on the menu. However if you have never eaten at a Mediterranean restaurant before and are ready to throw yourself whole-heartedly into the experience then you should ask your waiter what they would recommend. Mediterranean food is based on what's fresh and in season at the time and so your waiter should be able to suggest the freshest dishes for you to try.
Alternatively you could you use your trip to a Mediterranean restaurant to take a culinary tour around the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Not all Mediterranean restaurants in the UK will serve the same food but if possible why not start with Spain's gift to Mediterranean cuisine, gazpacho, or the Middle Eastern dish falafel. Then for your main course move to Greece for a mousaka or a sheftali kebab from Cyprus, with an Italian chocolate option for dessert like terrina di cioccolato.
Get a Feel For Mediterranean Cuisine
When it comes to Mediterranean restaurants in the UK, you'll find the range of decors as diverse as the range of food. Some Mediterranean restaurants will veer towards to the Asia influences, while others will have a distinctly European feel. However if you do venture to a Mediterranean restaurant that offers authentic cuisine expect to dine amidst deep golden yellows, rustic terracotta and vibrant blues that evoke the Mediterranean Sea itself, in a building that's reminiscent of an Italian Villa or a Turkish Palace.
Find Mediterranean Food in the UK
Finding a Mediterranean restaurant in any of the UK's cities should be easy as Mediterranean cuisine is one of the most popular in the UK. However if you are looking for some of the best examples of Mediterranean cuisine try one of London's Michelin star Mediterranean restaurants. Your options include:
• 1 Lombard Street, London EC3
• The Ritz, London W1
Things to look out for at Mediterranean restaurants in the UK
In 2004 the BBC asked the public to vote for the top 50 things people should eat in their lifetime, and at Mediterranean restaurants in the UK you can enjoy a number of the foods listed. So next time you go to a Mediterranean restaurant in the UK why not tick the following from the list:
• Fresh Fish
• Greek food
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