I’ve discovered a new Brighton gem! The pop-up Cypriot restaurant, Papa Pitta, in Diplocks Market just off North Road. Serving up traditional Greek kebabs, cooked ‘souvlaki’ style (threaded on a skewer and cooked over a coal-fueled barbecue), Papa Pitta is stirring up kebab revolution.
The first thing that struck me about the place was how quirky and fitting for Brighton it was. Walls are adorned with a mish-mash of antique picture frames and the tables and chairs are a mix of reclaimed wood and primary pop colours. Brightly coloured paper lanterns swing from the rafters of the roof and fresh flowers and trinkets are strewn across the tables. It’s like an urban Aladdin’s cave, snatching your attention at every corner.
The second thing that drew me in was the smokey aroma of succulent chicken and pork, charring on the barbecue coals. I’d just popped by for a nosey on my lunch break and after chatting to the lovely waitress about the menu options, I just couldn’t resist sitting down and trying it out then and there.
Now I know the kebab doesn’t have a good rep, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a far cry from the clubbers’ fueling stations on North street, serving fatty, spit-roasted processed meat. Papa Pitta is reclaiming the kebab and taking it to a new level – you could even go as far as to say that it’s offering gourmet kebabs!
There are just three main options with the kebabs: Chicken, pork or halloumi (for the veggies). I went for a chicken with extra halloumi and chilli sauce which came served with tzatziki, fresh tomato and cucumber and I was pretty impressed and stuffed after I’d tucked in.
Kebabs are not all that’s on offer either, there are several mouthwatering sides to dig into as well. Fried calamari, badada chips (which are flat-cut and twice-fried with oregano seasoning) and a beetroot, feta and walnut salad to name a few. I didn’t order any of these as I was just having lunch, but they are a must next time I visit.
I happened to drop by on the hottest day of the year so it was pretty stifling in the enclosure. Thankfully Papa Pitta were mindful of this and a complimentary jug of water with a cooling cucumber slice infusing it was whisked over to my table as soon as I sat down. Oh and I have to dish up some serious kudos to the chef sweating it out behind the barbecue that day.