Two weeks ago, Just Lokma opened to little fanfare on Cowley Road. It has quickly attracted a customer base ranging from the large Turkish community that is already in Oxford to students discovering new delicacies for the first time.
The offerings here are diverse but the star of the show is without a doubt the store’s namesake — Lokma. These are essentially tiny deep-fried dough balls that are traditionally soaked in syrup or honey. That is undoubtedly how they are best enjoyed here but there is also an extremely tempting dessert bar of sauces ranging from various chocolates to delicious pistachio.
My favourite version of the Lokma was definitely the traditional option but they can also be filled with any of the sauces. We also tried them filled with dark chocolate and drizzled in a selection of the sauces and toppings. One or two of them in this state is delightfully sweet but any more is very overpowering.
In a break from the Turkish theme, there are churros too — the thick kind as opposed to the authentic Spanish variety. Usually, I am very against these but these are fried long enough at a high temperature to mean that they are cooked through and properly crisp on the outside. They are ideally paired with the pistachio sauce (the owner tells me he already has people coming back to buy tubs of this and take it away).
Next came the baklava. There is a huge array here, all with different styles of pastries and coatings but all containing the same high-quality pistachios. These are delivered freshly each week by a specialist store in London.
Vanilla cheesecake is also a move away from classic Turkish options but a good choice. It comes in at £4.70 for a huge slice and can be coated in any wild and wonderful mix of toppings. The vanilla element was nice but I would have liked a chunkier biscuit base.
Drinks here also stand out. Turkish coffee is available and authentically strong and punchy but there is also Turkish tea. At just £2 it is amazingly sweet and refreshing and I was pleasantly surprised, as a non-tea drinker, to enjoy something I had never even seen on a menu before.
All in all, Just Lokma is yet another exciting and interesting addition to international stores and offerings on Cowley Road. You can choose your own selection of lokma and get six for £6.50 or four churros for £4.50. Open until 11 PM on the weekends it is certainly a new option for the mid-pub crawl snack or to fuel up before a night out. Not a night owl? The creamery is also a nice stop-off for a treat on a weekday wonder.