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A Turkish delight

August 5, 2010

Just went to Topkapi Turkish Restaurant in town for a quick meal. ZOMG. The food was superb, the prices very very reasonable, the place laid out well (a range of table types and a little tucked away room that instantly made me warm to the place), the servings more than generous, the variety great without being overwhelming, the service friendly but not excessively attentive, and the decor suitably Turkish. What I loved most was that half the menu was vegetarian (helpfully separated), and all of it was fantastic (I had the combination, which had a little of everything), without being predictable (I never thought I’d say this, but there is a thing as “I’ve had enough feta, thank you). Who knew fried carrot or zucchini/courgette steaks would taste SO amazing?! That said, Will had one of the meat combos and the meat was cooked really well. If you’re getting the combos, I would advise skipping any starters. The one thing Topkapi could improve on is meal presentation – if you check out their menu, the meals don’t look particularly appealing, which is a shame because I almost didn’t go. This could easily be remedied with bigger plates and a few touches that wouldn’t cost them any extra. Also graphically, I would love to give this place a makeover (although I have no problem with their logo…it just doesn’t match the outdoor sign, which, apart from being less attractive, isn’t helpful). The Subway-esque style kitchen at the front had me worried for a second, and the uniforms weren’t all that flattering (the fit or the Coca Cola logo). Anywhere else I would have recoiled, but EVERYTHING else about this place is so charming and well considered that I will be returning many, many more times.

Seriously check out the menu – their prices will make your jaw drop.  Though we ordered the most expensive meals ($28 and $24, double the cost of the other mains), we were absolutely stuffed by the end (and in my case…halfway through the meal). I couldn’t even try a Turkish coffee, which I was very much looking forward to (they also have Turkish wine and coffee! Told you everything else was awesome). Also, if you’re a garlic lover, you will not be disappointed. Also… there is a bellydancing show every now and then…! Also, they do lunch.

OMNOMNOMNOM. I could hand out fliers dressed as a giant piece of Turkish delight for these guys. A giant pink piece. Think on that.

Topkapi, 185 Manchester St (a hop from the intersection with Hereford St), Ph 379 4447.

PS. I have a recipe for brown butter double chocolate blondies coming up, so don’t worry, I have not deserted you all. Also absorption pasta with porcini, goats cheese and roasted hazelnuts. Both are wickedly good. Stay tuned. In the meantime, head out to Topkapi if you’re in Christchurch!

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