A TURKISH restaurant in Southampton, which launched in a blaze of glory last year winning Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in the UK, is crowd funding to reopen following the coronavirus crisis.

Ottoman Kitchen in the High Street has so far raised £800 of its £5,000 target to pay staff in its first week.

Several rewards are available including gift vouchers for the restaurant for more than the pledge amount.

If restaurant bosses reach their 5k target, it will be match funded by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Ottoman Kitchen is an independent restaurant employing 25 staff.

“We would like to make sure that everyone has a job to come back to when we reopen,” a statement read.

“The global Covid-19 pandemic has presented unforeseen challenges for Britains and even more so for newly opened small businesses like ourselves. We went from being very busy to suddenly overnight customers not coming to our restaurant and then government asked us to close the door to customers entirely.

“We would be so grateful if you have visited us, enjoyed our food and want to visit us again if you would support us by buying a gift voucher to use in the future.

“It has been a very exciting first year for us and we cannot wait to reopen soon when the government says it is safe to do so.”

Owned and run by the Fisticksi family, who hail from a small village in Turkey, the Ottoman Kitchen menu features authentic family recipes, and dishes are cooked in an open kitchen in front of customers providing plenty of theatre using a traditional charcoal grill. Enjoy Turkish classics such as Grilled Halloumi, Chicken Shish, adana kofte and falafels.

The main focus of the menu is a selection of tender marinated meats on the charcoal grill. There are also vegetarian options and a pastry chef knocks up ten home cooked cakes each week, including traditional Baklava and Chocolate and Honey cake.

Since opening last summer, Ottoman Kitchen scooped the Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in the UK award at the Asian Curry Awards in London in front of 700 restaurateurs back in December.

See crowdfunder.co.uk/please-support-ottoman-kitchen-southampton