Review – Papa Pitta
A trip to Papa Pitta is like going through the wardrobe: eclectic glass collections, old gaming devices and vintage suitcases line the passage down to Papa Pitta’s hidden getaway. From the traffic ridden bustle of North Road, in Brighton’s North Laine, we duck away into the deserted Diplocks Market.
The Papa Pitta venue is covered and largely protected from the elements but still outside. However, there are blankets in case you find it a bit chilly of an evening here. In terms of decor, think straightforward wooden tables, fairy lights, second hand bits n bobs and ramshackle romance. I’m delighted to learn that the framed photos on all the tables are actually owner Yoddi Papa’s old family photos.
Yoddi is Brighton born and bred and is following in his fathers footsteps. Pops ran a fish and chip joint on the seafront in Brighton for many years before moving his business to Chichester. Yoddi tells us how he’s aiming for an authentic, family feel where visitors can enjoy Cypriot cooking the way he would with his own large family. The greek music that plays tonight certainly adds to the laid back feel.
Energetic Yoddi tells us how he wants to “wrestle the kebab back from the drunken 3am man.” We’re glad to hear it.
I have the garlic, lemon and herb marinated chicken kebab, whilst my friend goes for the pork marinaded in red wine, garlic and coriander. Yoddi was right – this is not your typical post club kebab.
Instead of rivers of grease and gut-ache expect fresh and crunchy salad, raw onions and 12 hour marinated meat. I want more of the chargrilled chicken. But maybe that’s just because it’s gorgeous and even if I had twice as much I’d want more. I’m really pleased to have a chilli sauce that has some kick to it but with a heat that does not over power the rest of the kebab. It’s so disappointing when hot sauces lack oomph.
We fight over the delicious twice fried potato slices that we use to scoop up soft feta cheese. Sweet beetroot with walnut, feta cheese and a honey and mint dressing, plus a village salad topped with fat olives make for nice sides too. It’s all very fresh and straightforward good fare.
The downside is when it comes to the toilet, you have to use the market’s portaloo and although effort has been made to make it as nice as possible, it’s still a shabby portaloo. If you can look beyond this you can enjoy everything else.
Drop by for lunch or a takeaway. Or how about a party? The venue is available for private events. This strikes me as a great place to throw a party or to take a group friends for a relaxed evening. My dining companion is working out when he can bring his girlfriend, he reckons “she’ll love the fairy lights,” and I think he will be back for the meat!
By the way, Friends of the Fringe can receive 20% off at Papa Pita and enjoy an event hosted especially for them, including taster menu and entertainment, on 18th June. Also, expect “Periscope Tuesday’s” in future, where the restaurant will be streamed live online.
This place has only been open for a week at the time of my visit and I reckon that if things are running this smoothly so quickly that we can expect big things from the ever enthusiastic Yoddi.
Go, enjoy and let it be known that Papa Pita is the daddy when it comes to kebabs.
Papa Pitta, Diplocks Market, 73 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD
Laura’s food was complimentary, courtesy of Papa Pitta