Sunday evenings are usually a time to unwind and prepare for a busy week ahead.

However, this is not the case for staff at Melissa’s Restaurant, in Whitechurch Lane, Edgware, as Sundays are just as hectic as any other day of the week.

The restaurant recently expanded its eating area due to popular demand and when my guest and I visited last weekend, we found ourselves queuing behind a group who were asking for a table big enough for 30 diners.

Owner Chetin was inspired to open Melissa’s which is named after his 16-year-old daughter, after wanting to bring the taste of his town country Turkey to the streets of north London, after moving to Harrow 18 years ago.

He strives by the mantra: “It comes from the heart not the hands” and as he brought out the starters, we realised that he clearly puts a lot of passion into each of his meals.

We tried Cacik (3.95), which was made up of cucumber and a hint of garlic in a creamy yoghurt sauce, as well as Patlican Soslu (£4.25), an aubergine and green pepper dish mixed with a tomato sauce, Ispanak Tarato (£3.95), which was comprised of fresh spinach with creamy yoghurt and a hint of garlic, and hummus (£3.95), which was full of crushed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic.

Each aspect was light and did not leave us too full before sampling the next two courses.

Chetin also bought over one of his specially made salads and explained that he does not put onions in them as people tend to prefer them without that particularly strong flavour.

We scanned the menu for our main course and discovered that lamb shish kebabs are normally the most popular dish, but we decided to try an array of different meats from the Melissa Special, including adana, lamb and chicken shish, lamb ribs, chicken wings and mixed doner (all for £27.95).

The food came on a tray that seemed big enough to feed a family of four and we slowly made our way through the tender meats that were smothered with a number of herbs and spices.

Despite the very generous portion sizes, we were not defeated and ordered a crispy baklava, before washing everything down with a cup of traditional Turkish coffee (£1.90).

As we left the restaurant with a large takeaway bag filled with leftovers, we noticed the walls were decorated with traditional colourful Mediterranean scenes and as we stepped outside, we were hit with the reality that we were still in the middle of Edgware and not actually an authentic Turkish eatery in the heart of Istanbul.

Star –rating: ****