Ala turka is a Mediterranean dining experience that stimulates all your senses. The large menu designed for sharing is filled with delectable dishes from Turkey, Greece and Morocco. The menu is divided into set menus, which are used for groups of people and events, and the a la carte menu that caters for individual guests. The set menus have interesting names like The Emperor, Gypsy, Sultan or Ottoman menu, each of which offer a wide range of small dishes that are served as starters, mains and dessert.
For starters try the meat Borek, a dish made of spiced ground beef with herbs and feta cheese, stuffed into Lebanese bread, served with cucumber tzatziki. Or order a cold starter like the Dolmades – piquantly seasoned rice with pine nuts, currants, herbs and spices, all wrapped in vine leaves and served with yoghurt.
For mains try the mixed kebab for one, a meat lover’s platter of chicken, lamb and meatball kebabs served with pickles and pilaf rice. For a light meal, try the Arabian beef salad of marinated beef strips, toasted sesame seeds, olives, chopped tomato, cucumber and peppers, served with a chilli, cumin, olive oil and lemon dressing.
The dessert menu is a Persian feast of baklava, halva and Turkish delight. The Turkish delight ice-cream is a combination of rose water and creamy vanilla. Served with fresh fruit and pieces of Turkish delight sweets, it’s the perfect ending to a sensual feast of flavour.
A'la Turka has an extensive range of well-priced local wines, beers and international champagnes. All their dishes have been paired with local South African wines as part of the dining experience. Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted with sparkling rose water, a Persian inspired drink that transports you into the sensory pleasure of A’la Turka.
The service is friendly, warm and welcoming. The waiters, dressed in red Turkish hats, fit in perfectly with the décor and the restaurant’s theme. They are very knowledgeable about the food and wine, and also make good menu recommendations.
The décor and Turkish music transports you to an exotic foreign land filled with priceless antiques, Persian carpets, beautiful lanterns and comfortable floor pillows, which are scattered across the Ottoman and Beirut tents. It’s reminiscent of a Persian harem, complete with exotic belly dancers.
A’la Turka is the perfect venue for celebrating special occasions or for a unique dining experience.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
A La Turka is one of few Middle Eastern restaurants in the Pretoria food scene but it does it so well, you won’t need to go anywhere else for your fix. Their menu includes many hot and cold mezze options and for a jovial, shareable meal, order a few small dishes for a proper feast. The tzatziki is creamy and heavily seasoned with fresh mint and dill and is perfect for dipping with one of their warm pita breads. The spinach and feta borek (deep-fried phyllo pastry rolls) are absolutely addictive and is easily the highlight of a meal.
If you are after something heartier, the lamb kleftiko is a great option. Lamb shanks are slow-baked with garlic, tomatoes and olive oil and served with fresh herbs and feta cheese. The kebab selection is impeccable with the doner kebab being a favourite. Slices of lamb and beef are spread onto a warm pita with yoghurt and covered in their secret sauce. Simply delicious. Alternatively, go for one of their many set menu options with a range of prices, it's good for big groups dining together. For something lighter, they also have a range of salads and soups available.
For a sweet end to your meal, try the Turkish delight ice cream or oriental halva. The baklava is perfectly crisp and drenched in syrup but can be a little over-baked and dry.
Their wine list is categorised according to the estates they stock which include the likes of Neil Ellis, Altydgedacht, Glen Carlou and Spier. They have a good range of wines available by glass as well as MCC and a few champagne options. They also have a good selection of whiskies, cognac and brandy as well as a long list of shooters to choose from.
The staff are exceptionally friendly, from the gate guard to the waitrons serving your food. Meals are served promptly and efficiently.
Set in the exotic-looking Yadah castle, A La Turka is beautifully decorated with rich fabrics, jewel-tones and Middle Eastern antiques and trinkets. Seating options include standard tables as well as seating around low tables on comfortable pillows in “tent-like” structures decorated with draped fabrics. They also have many private dining rooms all decorated in the lush style of the rest of the restaurant. Evening meals are accompanied by their excellent belly dancers entertaining the crowd and results in a very enjoyable experience.
This is the perfect restaurant for a celebratory meal or a fun night out. The food and ambience work well together, transporting you to exotic locations with each mouthful.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.