A visit to A'la Turka is like being transported to a Turkish Sultan’s castle for an exotic feast. It’s all about the Middle Eastern experience – not only the food, but also the décor, atmosphere, entertainment (in the form of belly dancers at night) and the magnificent setting.
On the food front, they have a few three-course menus as well as an à la carte menu, all featuring typically Greek, Turkish and Lebanese fare. The menus range in price from R280 to R350 and are made to share – most are made up of a variety of starters and mains, enabling you to try a whole range of dishes. And unless you have an enormous appetite, there’s still ample left over to take home.
The Emperor’s Menu offers a variety of cold starters, like tzatziki, tabouleh, hummus and vegetarian dolmades – all served with the most delicious warm home-made pita bread. Mains included some very spicy kofte (meatballs), tasty lamb and chicken kebabs, borek (spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo pastry) and dolmades stuffed with meat, rice, herbs and spices and drizzled with garlic yoghurt.
You’re certainly spoilt for choice at A’la Turka, which has a massive wine menu. They specialise in various estates, including Spier, Muratie, La Bri, Glen Carlou, Neil Ellis, Darling Cellars, Rietvallei and Altydgedacht. Sparkling wines are available, from high-end to entry level. They also serve various liqueurs, spirits and ciders. On the non-alcoholic front, try their rose water or Turkish apple chai for something different.
From the moment you arrive and are greeted with drinks in the courtyard, service is friendly and helpful. In the day it’s a bit slower than at night.
Set in the beautiful Yadah Castle, A’la Turka feels typically Middle Eastern with lush furnishings, wooden features, beautiful lanterns and exotic-looking day beds. There are different seating areas – from private rooms to a main restaurant area flowing onto a veranda and outdoor tables in summer. Go in the day if you want to explore the castle and spa with all its nooks and crannies, or try night-time if you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience complete with belly dancers, Turkish music, twinkling lights and vibrant atmosphere.
A visit to A’la Turka may not be cheap (keep in mind that they add on a fee when they have belly dancers, plus a 10% gratuity), but for special occasions or a once-off unique Middle Eastern dining experience, it’s worth it.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
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.