Reviewed by Sarah Faisal | 3 months ago
Ankara has been creating quite the hype being the newest addition to Colombo’s list of most hyped restaurants (it’s an imaginary list I made so don’t try to Google it).
The EAT team decided to check it out and here’s what we thought!
Food and Drinks
A generous portion of well coated crispy calamari that's perfect in both looks and flavour? YES PLEASE!
With regard to the calamari, there wasn’t just a thin slice of it on the inside - we could chew on it and that's exactly how we like it!
The coating had a flavour so subtle that it didn’t overpower the taste of the fresh calamari.
Minced Lamb Kebab
We had high expectations for this dish so that was perhaps a reason for some of our disappointment. Texture-wise, Ankara nailed it - it was a bit chewy yet amazingly soft like a kebab should be. However, it lacked a bit of the seasoning that we were expecting which was disappointing given how famous Turkish cuisine is for their flavours.
These perfectly cut chunks of chicken were cooked to perfection. They had a smoky taste that went along well with the rest of the flavours. Although the portion of chicken was not a very generous one given the price, it was served alongside ‘’khubs’’ which was soft and wheat-y, and left you feeling full.
THEY NAILED IT! Probably some of the best hummus we’ve had in town; it was creamy and slightly grainy just as hummus should be. It also had a generous amount of olive oil on it which meant it wasn't too dry to eat with the ‘’Khubs’’ and bread. It has the perfect subtle taste of chickpeas, rather than something that overpowers your taste buds, but the real star was the texture of the hummus as it was spot on.
Having eaten machboos from an actual Turkish household, this was a bit of a let down. Although it did have a hint of the chicken stock flavour it should have, it was a little bland and a bit dry which made it hard to eat with the chicken kebab or the lamb kebab. Not to worry though, because it is served with a bit of well seasoned vegetable gravy so you can keep pouring that on the rice if you think it might choke you.
Bread and Khubs
This was soft, buttery and simply a delight. Although we had a huge spread in front of us, we couldn’t stop eating this with the hummus because of what a perfect combination it was!
Turkish Yoghurt Drink
This wasn’t as yoghurt-like as it should’ve been and had a bit of a watery texture. Considering how heavy the rest of the food is though, this is actually perfect to sip on in the middle of your meal. It was sweet with a hint of salt and was refreshing overall.
This was a star because you could taste actual strawberries and was refreshing to the very last sip. It wasn’t too sweet and was also light. If we do come back, this is what we will definitely order!
Homemade Turkish Ice Cream
Due to its interesting name and by suggestion from our waiter, we decided to try it out with some curiosity. However, to our surprise we were served what looked like an average vanilla ice cream with a hint of butterscotch flavour and nuts, but hey, it's ice cream and we finished it!
How could we go to a Turkish restaurant and not try their baklava, right? Having been born and brought up in the Middle East, you can guess how much baklava means to me *starts crying*. As excited as I was to find it on the menu, it was a disappointing experience.
Baklava is a food made of several layers of sheets. These are thin sheets that shouldn’t have a thick, wheat-like texture but alas, that’s what we were served *cries again*. The baklava had a dry, wheat-like texture that bore no resemblance to what it should be. It lacked everything from flavour to the right texture and I personally couldn’t finish it. This is probably the only baklava in my entire life that I didn’t stuff my face with.
The restaurant had a very busy interior with a lot going on - the motifs, art, lighting, curtains - something was done to everything in the attempt to add a bit of Turkish flare. There was enough seating that was neatly arranged and the restaurant was well lit. It looked very grand with a bit of a wedding vibe going around, probably due to the style of the chairs and tables.
We were greeted by a nervous waitress who showed us our seat and served by a waiter who knew his way around the menu and checked on us every now and then. The waiters were friendly, nice and efficient considering there wasn’t a crowd when we went.
Ankara is definitely trying their best and they have a long way to go, claiming to be a Turkish restaurant I really hope the baklava improves. It’s a nice place to go have dinner with the family. We wish them all the best and hope to see them improve!