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Review: Extravagant dining at A’la Turka in Pretoria

A’la Turka has been around for almost a decade, but may finally have found the right home for their extravagant dining experience. Set in what appears to be a castle, they have upped the game with their Turkish-slanted décor, with the menu equal to the task.

Food

The choices are wide-ranging and they have different menu options with portions that stretch much further than they might suggest. With their own gardens, the breads and pitas all freshly made, hummus that could be Turkish, Lebanese or Greek, it’s a feast.

The cuisine at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The cuisine at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

For a luxurious affair, select their high-end menu titled the Ottoman Table (R295 per person), which could easily stretch to two with a few add-ons. It starts with a meze including tzatziki, tabbouleh, hummus, kizartma (a glorious mix of lightly fried carrots, potato, green and red pepper and aubergine, blended with garlic, yogurt and paprika, herbs and olive oil), dolmades and baba ganoush. The next platter is dominated by meat, including doner kebabs with sliced lamb and beef on hot pita with yoghurt, shish kebab (lamb skewer), Adana kebab (minced leg of lamb) and tavuk shish kebab, which is a delicious chicken on a skewer. Add to that divine borek (spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo) and you’re done for the night. But there’s more. You have to conclude with something sweet like a traditional baklava and for extra punch, a Turkish coffee.

Drinks

Sip on anything from Krone Borealis Brut Vintage Cap Classique to a more swanky Moët & Chandon if you’re celebrating. A’la Turka supports a number of wine estates like Spier, Muratie, Glen Carlou and Boekenhoutskloof, or you could quietly get in the mood with still or sparkling rosewater. The list is excellent, with many different price options.

The interior at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Service

Dressed for the part with a red fez to finish the look, staff members are informed, on the ball and quick to help with anything you might need.

Ambience

First decide how you want to spend your meal at A’la Turka. You can do it inside in the larger dining room where magic is created with the switch of 40 light bulbs; on the balcony with spectacular sunsets and views of the Gauteng horizon; outside around a festive table; or an intimate table for two in a secluded spot in the garden. Or perhaps in one of the many private dining spaces, which might include lounging on richly coloured cushions while you sip at your wine and receive a spectacular meal. That’s just for dinner. There are many different options, from a Turkish breakfast to a brunch. Or if you want to entertain a group of special friends, speak to the owners about kitchen teas and conference facilities.

Outside at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Outside at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

And…

There are many shopping opportunities, from clothes to jewellery; they’re also opening a hammam (Turkish bath) and, in the future, a 200-seater theatre.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read the editorial policy here.

Have you had a sensory adventure at A’la Turka in Pretoria? Let us know what you thought by writing a review.

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