New Mediterranean restaurant opens in Worthing

A new Mediterranean restaurant, serving up dishes from around the world, has opened in Worthing.
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ONYX has opened in Marine Parade – in the site of Escape Bar and Grill – owned by Turkish businessman Bulent Colak.

The restaurant will be open from 11.30am to 10pm everyday, except Tuesday. There is indoor and outdoor seating available.

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Bulent has hired a restaurant manager with a ‘wealth of experience’, named Gino Sari, and experienced chef, Umit Kelec – both from Turkey.

There will be an array of dish on offer at ONYX, including a seasoned and charcoal grilled lamb steak – served on a 440 degree rock where you can cook the meat to your own preference, with salad, chips and bulgar. Photo: Sussex WorldThere will be an array of dish on offer at ONYX, including a seasoned and charcoal grilled lamb steak – served on a 440 degree rock where you can cook the meat to your own preference, with salad, chips and bulgar. Photo: Sussex World
There will be an array of dish on offer at ONYX, including a seasoned and charcoal grilled lamb steak – served on a 440 degree rock where you can cook the meat to your own preference, with salad, chips and bulgar. Photo: Sussex World

Speaking ahead of the opening, Bulent said: “We want to offer specialised food you cannot find anywhere else.

"This kind of business is for the challenge. It’s very exciting.

“I’m not nervous as this has got potential. I’ve been all over the UK and the world travelling but I love Worthing.

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"I’ve been in Worthing for 21 years and I’m established here with more than five businesses. They are all successful. This is like my home. Even if I go to Turkey, I feel homesick for Worthing.”

Bulent (right) has hired an experienced chef, Umit Kelec (left) – also from Turkey – who has previously worked in Chichester and London. Photo: Sussex WorldBulent (right) has hired an experienced chef, Umit Kelec (left) – also from Turkey – who has previously worked in Chichester and London. Photo: Sussex World
Bulent (right) has hired an experienced chef, Umit Kelec (left) – also from Turkey – who has previously worked in Chichester and London. Photo: Sussex World

Umit, who joined the food business from a young age due to his father – who ran kebab restaurants in their hometown – moved to England in 2010.

After working alongside other top chefs in London, he started his own restaurant in Chichester, which closed permanently during the Covid pandemic.

He is hopeful his latest West Sussex restaurant will be a success – as many of his customers in Chichester were from the Worthing area.

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“I know the Worthing area and the people here,” he said. “I prefer to be here.

Other dishes on the menu include chicken and lamb shsih; beyti; burgers; ribs; iskender kebabs; fish dishes and vegetarian options, such as delicious salads; Lebanese falafel with hummus and Greek mousakka. Photo: Worthing Food and DrinkOther dishes on the menu include chicken and lamb shsih; beyti; burgers; ribs; iskender kebabs; fish dishes and vegetarian options, such as delicious salads; Lebanese falafel with hummus and Greek mousakka. Photo: Worthing Food and Drink
Other dishes on the menu include chicken and lamb shsih; beyti; burgers; ribs; iskender kebabs; fish dishes and vegetarian options, such as delicious salads; Lebanese falafel with hummus and Greek mousakka. Photo: Worthing Food and Drink

"We will be serving Mediterranean food, which is completely different to what I’ve done before.

"I’m planning to do a different style, not just kebabs. We don’t want to just be Turkish. We want to make Greek, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean dishes.

"We’ve picked up the best dishes from these areas and put them onto the menu.”

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At ONYX, NHS staff will be given a ten per cent discount on food, seven days a week. There will be two industry nights a week, on Sundays and Mondays, when people in the hospitality business can get 25 per cent off.

ONYX has opened in Marine Parade, in the site of Escape Bar and Grill, owned by Turkish businessman Bulent Colak. Photo: Steve Robards SR2302092ONYX has opened in Marine Parade, in the site of Escape Bar and Grill, owned by Turkish businessman Bulent Colak. Photo: Steve Robards SR2302092
ONYX has opened in Marine Parade, in the site of Escape Bar and Grill, owned by Turkish businessman Bulent Colak. Photo: Steve Robards SR2302092

Melanie Peters, who runs the Worthing Food and Drink Group and supports businesses across the town, said: “This is not just a bar, the demographic is different. The terrace is beautiful.

"We are trying to get the staff in. It needs to be right as it is being run differently. It will be a wine bar as well, with more of a restaurant feel to it.

"I promoted the business on Facebook and gave people the chance to name the restaurant, which got people talking. We’ve sadly lost a few restaurants but we’ve gained a few so it will even itself out a little bit.”

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There will be an array of dishes on offer at ONYX, including a seasoned and charcoal grilled lamb steak – served on a 440 degree rock where you can cook the meat to your own preference, with salad, chips and bulgar.

Other dishes on the menu include chicken and lamb shsih; beyti; burgers; ribs; iskender kebabs; fish dishes and vegetarian options, such as delicious salads; Lebanese falafel with hummus and Greek mousakka.

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