Name: Little Istanbul
Type: Restaurant. Turkish.
Food et: Too much…
Saturday night my flate mate and I walked around to Little Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant around the corner from our flat, to gather for the 30th birthday dinner celebration of one of our mutual good friends.
First thought as we entered the restaurant on this particular night and made our way up to the back where our resevered table awaited? “Holy crap, it’s busy”. Followed by “Holy crap, it’s hot!” Yikes. Extremely hot. Not sure if it was the amount of people in there, but we all started stripping off layers as soon as we were seated.
The restaurant does have a good, lively atmosphere, so much so that it can be hard to hear people on the other side of the table…but let’s face it, we were there for the food, dang it, not idle chatter!
We’d pre-ordered the Royal Banquet, the biggest most expensive one they have – which is still reasonably priced considering the amount of food you get. Bring. It. On.
First up was, as always, my favourite part of any Turkish dinner – dips with bread. So simple, yet so yummy. I knew we had a lot of food to come, but I couldn’t stop myself spooning a nice big heaping of each dip on to my plate. Bubbaghanush, Humus, Beetroot, Havuc (carrot) and Tzatziki – all made to perfection. The bread was warm and fresh, perfect for scooping up big dollops of dip. Yummo. A special mention about the Humus: it’s amazing. I’m a snob for Humus now because of this stuff – no more store bought stuff for me, thank you very much!
Along with the dips and bread we were also served Borek (cheese wrapped in pastry) and Kabak (zucchini balls). What’s not to love about those? The fetta in the pastry gives off a yummy tangy taste and the zucchini balls are soft and doughy.
I passed on the vine leaves, as I knew the meat plate was next and I want to save my stomach for that! Meat, people, meat.
The next plate was full of seafood – but I hate seafood, so I can’t tell you what it was like. A Pide with prawns arrived at the same time and all the others seemed impressed with the seafood. Whatever…
My friend has a seasame seed allergy and the chef made him two special Pide’s with out them (the first one had a couple of seeds on them, so they made him a new one free of charge). It was fantastic that they were so willing to help him out, and he can now enjoy Pide – like normal people.
The plate of meat arrived and I dug right in. Sis Kebab, Sis Tavuk, lamb cutlets and a big pile of Pilav. Yum. Yum. Yum. The meat was flavourful, coated in the right amount of spices, and cooked to perfection.
I think there was salad in there too, can’t remember. Meat.
After I’d eaten so much I thought I was going to vomit, my friend’s wife “surprised” him with three belly dancers. The restaurant were kind enough to help her organise the setting, by supplying their sound system for the music and turning down their house lights to reveal flashing disco lights up the back. Who knew!?!?! Happy 30th, geeko! The boys got up and had a dance with the lovely, talented, ladies. I, however, hid on the other side of the table. Things like that freak me out…
After our entertainment was finished, they turned the lights back up (scaring everyone in the restaurant to death) and we finished off our meal with some dessert – a plate of assorted delicacies. I went straight for the Birds Nest and Baklava (a personal favourite).
Verdict: A great night out with friends. The food was great, couldn’t really ask for anything more! Service was fantastic, they were helpful, polite and just really nice! Winner.