Last night (13th June) my partner and I had the experience to dine at Alaturka.
As we walked through the shop front like door it was obvious that the place was not as busy as previous nights that I had seen the restaurant however the amount of tables crammed in to such a small area suggested that it could cater for at least the entire team of the soccerroo's as long as nobody tried to stretch.
We were greeted by one of the waiter staff that was tending to another customer and as he scratched his head and looked around he found a table for 2 in the middle of the restaurant but against the wall and pointed in that direction. now as for the table lay out this proved to be quite a maze just to get to the table. once there it was obvious that the table had not been cleaned and after 5 minutes a different waiter approached us and asked us if we wouldn't mind moving to another table as the table we were sitting at had not been made up and was unclean. Moving to another table we were sat right next to the bar and in the cause way to the kitchen and had the constant traffic of the waiters hurrying past our table. The waiter took our order for drinks but some how between the 2.5 metres between our table and the bar got a Heiniken confused with a red wine.
The entrÃ©e we ordered was some kind of lamb mince in a pastry that was deep fried that had a suspicious taste of an all Australian meat pie.
The other was Feta cheese in a pastry wrapped into fingers and again deep fried,and served with a garnish of salad and a dipping sauce. this was quite nice and a good entrÃ©e.
The mains were a char grill lamb kebab pieces served over a assortment of capsicum tomato and other vegetables quite a nice generous serving dish however with the lamb being quite potently charred in taste.
The second dish was not quite as expected but turned out to be diced grilled salmon with an assortment of vegetables and fresh tomato's with 2 deep fried looking things on top with an assortment of 3 dipping sauces. Upon asking the waiter what exactly the deep fried things were on top he was unsure and went to get a female employee to answer my questions. when she arrived she picked up my partners fork and started prodding my deep fried things and informed me they were potato and then made her way around my plate telling me what was there. Well.... lets just say I know what potato is... And this was not potato, well at least not real potato, (I beleive that it may have been packet potato balls squashed then deep fried). Once again a hearty generous dish but with very little salmon, however the small portion of salmon that the chef did decide to part with was quite dry and lacked a lot of flavour.
After this it was enough and we didn't really want to see what could possibly go wrong with the dessert so asked for the bill. 20 minutes latter when the bill did arrive in its wooden box it was quite unreadable and didn't have a total so upon asking the waiter for the total he rudely pointed out some chicken scratch in the far left corner of the bill, no where near the neat little box that clearly states "TOTAL".
I believe this restaurant is capable of good food. Unfortunately its the restaurant's untrained or lack of knowledgeable staff and lack of real atmosphere that lets it down. Sure there is some great culture and art on the walls and quite a bit of effort has been made to make it seem really authentic but you cant help but feel that your in an over crowded rented Cafe and being served by back packers.
Approximate cost: $40
I have mixed feeling about this restaurant. Service was slow to clear our table when we arrived, sitting with other people's left overs is not so enticing before a meal. Lots of people there, so a popular spot - whether due to it being new or good food i'm not sure. Menu was generally pretty over priced in my opinion. There is a big sticker on the front of the menu advising "prices do not include GST". This is a new restaurant, the fact they don't have the actual whole cost of the food listed is absurd and insulting. Not a lot of variety for vegetarians. One main meal or a handful of entrees. With three vegetarians and one meat-eater we decided on the entrees for more variety. Food was extravagantly presented with cut out vegetables which inevitably mostly get wasted. A cost I don't appreciate enduring for presentation, but it was "pretty" all the same. Artichoke entree was average, cheese balls were tasty, turkish bread and dip was no more special than I could buy at the supermarket. My meat-eating husband however really enjoyed his kebab. At the end of our meal when paying for the bill, the waitress had to note all the prices of the dishes on our ticket, then add gst and then manually add it up with a calculator. This procedure was time consuming. Overall I would not go back by choice, not great value for money, vegetarian food nothing special, but that's just my experience! Others seemed to be having a fine time, and the place was definitely popular.
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