Turkish is always a treat. Bold flavours, big portions, and big smiles. So Anatolia at Clemton Park is just as you would expect.
It’s always good to get a recommendation, and the co-owner and waiter, Adem, is happy to help. The mixed shish plate is hard to go past for a taste of the best a Turkish restaurant has to offer. This one had juicy chicken and lamb shish served with rice, hummus grilled veggies and a refreshing salad (and flat bread of course!).
The bursa iskender is something I had never tried before, and Anatolia prepares it the traditional way. It’s roasted meat served on top of anatolian bread, which is basted in a rich tomato sauce, and served with yoghurt and fresh tomato. But wait there’s more: the kicker with this dish is the theatre. Soon after your bursa iskender arrives, one of the chefs will soon follow to top your dish with…wait for it… foaming butter! And we all know that everything good tastes even better with butter.
The real standout dish, however, was the pide. Now, you may be thinking of the regular kind of pide that you’ve had many times, where the dough is wrapped and folded around the filling. Anatolia Clemton park’s pide antep lahmcun is flat (and a very respectable 19 inches). It’s topped with ground beef, tomato and onion, and some kind of enticing pepper. The topping is in a really fine layer, which means you can eat more of this than you might first think when it arrives on a plank at your table. Top it with lemon, and eat while it’s hot to best enjoy that heady spice.
You couldn’t possibly fit in some tea and baklava - but go on, they’re only small, and a perfect end to the meal.
Inside, the restaurant is spacious and well decorated. The lanterns have been imported from Istanbul, and are really quite beautiful, which adds to the whole experience. The restaurant looks over a town square in a fairly new development in Clemton Park, and there is loads of parking in the shopping centre basement. Outside in the square is a nice open seating area, where you can even take a Turkish carpet and have a shisha (a waterpipe for vaporising and smoking flavoured tabacco; also known as a Hookah). Note to self: they do offer a special Turkish breakfast (turk kahvaltisi) on weekends, and bookings are recommended!