I knew the Agora was one of Headingley’s treasures, yet from the outside, the Turkish-Greek bistro seemed fairly nondescript. When we first arrived in the early evening we were the only ones in there but I kept an open mind; it was a weeknight, after all, and I had heard good things about the place.
We were greeted warmly and our drinks brought over promptly. The waiter produced fresh, home-made bread, feta cheese and olives before retreating to the other side of the restaurant, just within eye-catching distance, while we mulled over our choices. Admittedly, we are hardly a decisive pair so this took some time, but the staff are friendly and relaxed and as the restaurant starts to fill up we don’t feel rushed into ordering.
At last, I choose the lamb kleftiko and my friend the vegetable platter. The lamb is succulent and delicious, and I’m reliably informed that the veg is just as good. Both dishes are served in generous portions with rice and salad, leaving me with only a little room left over for dessert. I am no wine connoisseur, and opt simply for house red – a pleasant surprise, it transpires. When it comes to dessert I am happy to have a forgivingly elastic stomach as a friend who visited the week before and praised the baklava to an almost comical extent. Upon trying it myself I can understand why – make sure you try it if you ever go, utter honey heaven!
With most main course prices priced around the £10-£15 mark this might not be a student’s regular haunt, but the quality of the food and ample portion size mean there is no doubt that this delicious, home-made cuisine is worth every penny. They offer an enticing lunch deal from 11.30am-6pm of two courses for under £10, proving that the Agora is as good value as it is unpretentious and welcoming. If you’re looking for somewhere to cater for a birthday meal or impress the parents, this is the ideal venue. I could not recommend it highly enough.
55 Otley Road Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 3AB
0113 278 1532
Words: Beckie Smith