It’s all good at Marmara, but the best stuff comes from the grill. This Turkish restaurant, which opened in September in a hard-luck location in Manalapan, turns out meaty, beautifully cooked lamb chops and chicken or lamb kebabs. The mixed grill, a lamb festival on a plate, is a good way to go. Sea bass is fresh and delicious, too. Grilled plates come with first-rate rice pilaf and a mess of vegetables, including excellent pickled cabbage.
Off the grill, hounds like babaganoush, pida bread, sigara boregi (feta-stuffed filo scrolls), and exceptionally good baklava for dessert. “What a delight! Everything we had was amazing!” raves Angelina. Especially recommended: their tasty, generous hot appetizer combination (falafel, calf’s liver, fried calamari, spinach pie).
Servers are green, but the accommodating owners are in the house and working the room. And the room is nice, much more appealing than its strip-mall setting might suggest.
Marmara Mediterranean Turkish Cuisine [Monmouth County]
339 Rte. 9 S, in Summerton Plaza shopping center, Manalapan, NJ