Anatoli Write Up – On Fri, 26 Apr 2019, 16:04 Sheena Hobden
16th May 2019
Last night I visited Anatoli and I was so impressed I decided to write up about it and thought I would send it to you. Please read the below & thank you for an amazing experience! J
Near the Waterfront of Cape Town on the clean & well-kept Napier Street lies a unique and very distinguishing Turkish Cuisine restaurant called, Anatoli.
This 115 year old characteristic building that once had served as a coach house in 1904 and been converted into Anatoli in 1984 brings you a strong feeling of history & culture when you enter its splendor, combined with the spirit of many happy diners who have enjoyed this place for over 30 years.
Anatoli brings that something different with its historic building features consisting of beautiful large wooden entrance doors and high ceilings. A variety of building finishes strongly considered and well thought out keeps the history of this building alive right down to the interesting kebab brass taps and romantic lighting.
Once you enter this restaurant you certainly sense that Anatoli represents the pride of the Turkish culture & all its traditions.
We were welcomed by the friendly waitrons who kept us happy throughout, to the dining area which felt intimate and relaxing upon arrival. Comfortably seated we found not only does Anatoli offer a vast range of cocktails it also offers a wine list selection with affordable quality wines to accompany the hearty and flavorful cuisine that we were about to enjoy.
Another authentic & unique characteristic of this restaurant is how the menu is presented to you, once you are ready your waitron brings you a ‘meze’ platter, meze platters are a big part of the Eastern Mediterranean which means ‘taste’ in English, much like the tapas concept in Spain. We were presented with a large wooden tray assortment of hot and cold mezes left up to our choice. The alluring & tempting meze platter revealed by your waitron is described to you and attractively presented.
Making the tough call on which mezes to select and being presented with these delights such as the well-known nitty-gritties, dolmades, fritters, hummus, olives, tzatziki and halloumi cheese to the more extravagant mezes such as Kofte – a spicy lamb meat ball with mint yoghurt, Sigara Boeril – phyllo pastry stuffed with feta parsley & black pepper, all being flavorful and delicious excited us to our core.
Our only regret was that we chose less saucy meze’s as the Zaatar bread had been freshly baked and we would have loved to dip it into a saucier meze that was on offer as that would be delicious & a reminder of our own South African heritage of cleaning our potjie pots remains with bread and devouring it at the end of a hearty potjie.
Just as you are presented with your mezes which serves as your starter, when the time comes – you are also presented with the mains ranging from kebabs, a very common Mediterranean dish to lamb shank – slow cooked in orange juice for 5 hours, rich chicken & veg, creamy moussaka (vegetarian) with your choice of side being, bulgur wheat, white pasta rice or cous cous. The mains blew us away with its flavor of the middle east, it felt as if we were sitting in restaurant right in Istanbul making the most of the tastiest food, bursting with flavor and delighting our every sense. We opted to share the lamb shank and moussaka, both exceeding our expectations visually & taste wise.
As the night drew to an end we had over indulged so much on the mezes and mains that we just couldn’t do desserts as well, also being traditional from Baklava, Rice Pudding and Turkish Coffee Pannacotta. We will be sure to take into consideration to pace ourselves next time as we will definitely be returning to this gem of a restaurant right on our doorstep which didn’t only tantalize our taste buds but also provide us with an unforgettable experience.