Saturday, June 14, 2014

Antalya Restaurant, London

Antalya Restaurant,
103-105 Southampton Row,
Russell Square,
London WC1B 4HH
020 75805355

I was meeting a friend who was giving an evening lecture in a nearby college. Her students heavily recommended Antalya, when she asked for the best place to eat around the college. And that is how the 2 of us met at this location.

I absolutely loved Antalya, not just for their superlative Turkish food, but for their impeccably warm hearts that guide the service.

Since some of the students who attended the lecture, had also headed here for dinner, we were a pretty large group from across the globe, with each person ordering a different combination. (when my friend and I headed to a separate table, the owner insisted on adding a single table to seat 2 to the already over extended table seating where everyone else was seated, so that we would not miss out on the fun of a group conversation) Inspite of the size of our group, the order was brought to each of us perfectly.

We ordered the mixed mezze platter (6.45 pounds) to start with, that came with 8 different dips (Hummus, Tarama Salad - fish roe pate with potatoes, olive oil and lemon juice, Cacik - Turkish Tzatziki, Patlican Soslu -fried aubergines and roasted peppers,  Tabbouleh, chickpea salad, black eyed peas salad and Sigara Boregi - A Turkish spring  roll of sorts) All of this goodness was served with the most amazing bread.

We also tried some of the varied starters that were arriving on the table - ordered by the other guys in our group and they were all excellent.

For main course, on their recommendation we both ordered the Lamb Iskander (12.95) that was excellent. Pretty much like an Egyptian fattah, with the layers of meat, yoghurt sauce, red tomato based sauce and toasted pita bread.

While we were absolutely stuffed and had absolutely no space in our tummies for anything else, he wanted to serve us complimentary dessert. We weakly protested saying that we had absolutely no way to eat anything more. He still pressed a couple of servings of fresh watermelon upon us, assuring us that it would be light on our tummies and good for digestion.

The interiors are beautiful and the service is excellent. The food is brilliant - took me right back to our Turkish holiday a couple of years ago, the people who run this place are really lovely - with warm hearts and a huge commitment to their food and their customers. I cannot recommend Antalya enough.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

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