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Anatoli Turkish Restaurant

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Cost
R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Lentswe Bhengu

Food
Tasty, authentic food in a setting straight out of old Istanbul hit all the right spots at this cosy eatery. Starters are served from a large tray, with each one explained by knowledgable waiters. Choose from the likes of smoky baba ghanoush, lamb koftas, spicy olives, hummus or dolmades and a smorgasbord of dips paired with piping hot, chewy flatbreads – garlic or plain. For mains, the choice between a variety of traditional lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes, plus kebabs, is a tough decision. Be warned, portions are generous. Try the lamb shank, which is slow-cooked in orange juice and served on a smoked brinjal purée, or lahana dolmasi, cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, lamb mince, pine nuts and herbs. Desserts include the likes of a traditional Turkish rice pudding with rose-water and a sublime dark chocolate mousse gently fragranced with cardamom and cinnamon.

Drinks: A fairly extensive wine list, with a few options available by the glass. There is also an interesting cocktail list, try the Turkish delight martini or tears of Istanbul – raki shaken with crème de menthe and apple juice.

Service
The staff are attentive and knowledgeable, but things can become quite busy.

Ambience
The interior is lit by low lighting, tasteful décor and traditional Turkish music make for an authentic experience.

And…
End your meal with a traditional Turkish coffee.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    This gem of a Turkish restaurant is still going strong, serving up the kind of soul-warming food that will restore your faith in dining out. The range of Turkish starters, displayed on a tray, are all tempting, and could form a meal in themselves. Pick a plate of lamb koftas and fried halloumi and mop up the hummus or taramasalata with a piping hot flatbread. But save room for the moreish mains – what’s coming is even better. We feel as if we’ve won the jackpot with a rolled deboned lamb in a ragu. It’s the kind of rich sauce you would be quite happy to eat with just the nutty rice. There are also some potatoes that have been soaking in the sauce for several hours, which we divvy up jealously. The dolma, a beef and rice mix rolled in cabbage, might sound unglamorous, but it’s wonderfully spiced, and flecks of mint in the meat pair beautifully with the accompanying yoghurt. Main portions are large – you could almost share one between two. Or do as we do, and take home the leftovers for a mind-blowing breakfast. A tray of desserts offers poached quinces with yoghurt and buttery baklava and rice pudding, amongst other things. But if you’re a chocolate fan, it’s imperative that you order the chocolate pot. It’s a beautiful, light chocolate mousse, spiced with cinnamon and star anise.

    Drinks
    The wine list is fairly extensive and well-balanced, but the by-the-glass options are limited to a handful of cheaper house wines.

    Ambience
    Dark red walls, low lighting and traditional Turkish trinkets keep the space cosy. Anatoli is great for a romantic evening with a partner, or a celebration with family or friends.

    Service
    Serving staff are warm and helpful, and the food is served speedily.

    And …
    Finish the meal with a glass of fresh mint tea or extremely sweet apple tea.

    (August 2015)

  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    The range of Turkish starters – displayed on a tray – are all tempting, and could form a meal in themselves. Pick a plate of lamb koftas and fried halloumi and mop up the hummus or taramasalata with a piping hot flatbread. But save room for the moreish mains – what’s coming is even better.
    We feel as if we’ve won the jackpot with a rolled deboned lamb in a ragu. It’s the kind of rich sauce you would be quite happy to eat with just the nutty rice. There are also some potatoes that have been soaking in the sauce for several hours, which we divvy up jealously. The dolma, a beef and rice mix rolled in cabbage, might sound unglamorous, but it’s beautifully spiced, and flecks of mint in the meat pair beautifully with the accompanying yoghurt.
    Main portions are large – you could almost share one between two. Or do as we do, and take home the leftovers for a mindblowing breakfast.
    A tray of desserts offers poached quinces with yoghurt, buttery baklava and rice pudding, amongst other things, but if you’re a chocolate fan, it’s imperative that you order the chocolate pot. It’s a beautiful, light chocolate mousse, spiced with cinnamon and star anise.

    Drinks
    The wine list is fairly extensive and well-balanced, but the by-the-glass options are limited to a handful of cheaper house wines. Finish the meal with a glass of fresh mint tea or extremely sweet apple tea.

    Ambience
    Dark red walls, low lighting and traditional Turkish trinkets keep the space cosy. Anatoli is great for a romantic evening with a partner, or a celebration with family or friends.

    Service
    Serving staff are warm and helpful, and the food is served speedily.

    (May 2015)

  • Greg Landman

    Food 
    When dining at this well-loved Turkish restaurant, choose from the ultimate mezze spread, featuring over thirty versions of cold and hot vegetables, meat and fishy exotica. Who could resist temptations like Topig (mashed potato with chickpeas, tahini, pine nuts, cinnamon and chilli oil), Patlican Izgara (open flame-grilled aubergines with olive oil and lemon juice) and deliciously creamy and very fishy taramasalata?

    Move on to rich lamb dishes like Incik Kebabi (a fabulous lamb shank, slow-cooked for four hours in orange juice and coriander) or chicken with potatoes, baby onions and avgolemeno (a traditional sauce made of thickened egg and lemon) – it’s simply superb.

    Resist the urge to finish up with the baklava and rather try the poached quinces with thick cream and walnuts, which is delicious. Actually, why not, give in and have both.

    Drinks
    They offer an adequate list with excellent local varieties to suit most tastes and pockets.

    Service  
    Service is friendly and professional and remains so even when busy.

    Ambience 
    This has been a Cape Town favourite for many years, not only for the food but for the authentic, lavish Turkish interior. It’s a great spot to enjoy with a group of friends.

    And …
    Don’t get too carried away with the mezze and the fabulous flat breads – easier said than done!

    (July 2014)

  • Authentic Anatolian food at a gem hidden away in the city. Their breads are a must, baked on the premises and served directly to the table, but hold yourself back – there’s so much more to come. Eat to suit your mood, whether it’s for a feast of meze with warm pitas, a wide selection of starters to share, or a luscious main course. Years of consistent trade are thanks to the hands-on management, friendly staff and, of course, the delicious food. The massive variety of meze, from carnivorous to vegetarian, mild to spicy, will please all tastes and palates. Highlights include roasted bell peppers, okra, leeks, fava beans and aubergine in clay pot; the slow-cooked potato and onion; and the lamb tagine. The moody atmosphere, amber-lit interiors and beautiful carvings makes you feel like you could be in the heart of Turkey – perfect for a romantic, adventurous date. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Anatoli’s amazing selection of 29 hot and cold meze includes wonders like potatoes stuffed with tahini and pine nuts; the best taramasalata (whipped fish roe) this side of the Bosphorus and all the dips and filo-wrapped treats your heart desires. Try not to overfill on meze, as kebabs and a hearty array of succulent lamb dishes are fabulous as well. Leave space for the rice pudding.

    Wine
    Excellent, with plenty of choice and reasonable prices.

    Service
    The friendly and knowledgeable staff bring the prepared meze on a massive tray – as they would in Turkey – so you can just point and eat for instant gratification.

    Ambience
    A little piece of Istanbul in Greenpoint, this spot is all hand-painted tiles, Turkish carpets, brass candelabras, and jewel tones in an atmosphere-rich establishment.

    And...
    Watch out for the belly dancing on Saturday nights. (LM, October 2012)
  • Herman Lensing

    The old-school interior and moody atmosphere makes you feel like you could be in the heart of Turkey enjoying great food. A gem in the Cape Town restaurant scene. A favourite for a long dinner with great friends and great company. Mezze eating is a great form of having dinner! Visit for a vibey Friday / Saturday night. Their breads are must-haves, baked on the premises and served directly onto the table. Be sure to save space for the lamb tagine. (July 2013)
  • Brent Meersman

    Old faithful. My neighbourhood favourite for mid-week dinner. I recommend the mezze starters: roast bell peppers, okra, leeks, fava beans and aubergine in clay pot. (July 2013)
  • Bianca Coleman

    Belly dancers on weekend nights add to the exotic experience. Eat to suit your mood, whether it's a feast of mezze with warm pita bread, or a small selection of starters to share, followed by luscious main courses. Beautiful décor and friendly staff complete the package. Recommended for its years of consistency, hands-on management and delicious food. Go for a vibey Friday / Saturday night. The massive variety of mezze will please all tastes and palates, from carnivorous to vegetarian, mild to spicy. (July 2013)

User reviews

  • Absolutely delicious! Don't skimp on the meze, it's amazingly delicious! Mains were great, highly recommend the lamb kebab over the lamb shank-better spices and flavour overall. The decor is beautiful and the waiters are great. An absolute must!
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  • Absolutely wonderful! A simple concept with great execution. There isn't really a "menu" to order from: for starters, the waiter will bring over a huge tray with the broad selection of mezze-style dishes (hummus, halloumi, Taramasalata, lamb liver, kofta and much much more.) - take straight from the tray. Mains are authentic and tasty with just the right amount of spice. Service is attentive, knowledgeable and very friendly. The ambience is cosy and the restaurant is filled with authentic Turkish art, crockery and decor. Forget after-dinner "endearmints': grab proper Turkish Delight on your way out!
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  • Simply delicious food. We selected several things from the tempting bowls on the meze platter - the lamb's liver was richly, wonderfully lamb-y, nicely spiced, and converted even the offal-fearing at our table. The filo pastry cigars filled with feta and spinach were crisp and scrumptious. For mains, the winner of the night was the rolled deboned lamb ribs, which are cooked in a tomatoey sauce. The intensity of flavour was everything you dream about when you order a lamb dish. The lamb shank was slightly less powerfully intense, but still succulent and juicy. The chicken moussaka was okay - a little quiet in comparison to the punchy flavours of the other dishes. Our puddings - creme caramel - were a little burnt on the bottom, which gave them a slightly bitter taste. However, the mains were so glorious, I'm still giving them a 5 for food.

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  • One of my best experiences of Cape Town. Not a professional in this food commentary field but the experience was authentic...The Mezze Platter was a delightful surprise on the taste buds. The staff were so professionally and even made sure we didn't leave without sweets! The desserts refined my take on #Turkishdelights!
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  • Some of the items we had like the bread and one of the dips for starter was good. The dolmades were bland.

    The main course lamb was tasteless however the kebab was ok.
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  • Thoroughly enjoyed our meal and authentic Turkish experience at the delightful Anatoli restaurant!

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  • A favourite, for more than a decade.

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  • The most amazing experience! Makes me want to go to Turkey all over again!

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  • Turkey is my favourite holiday destination. From the crowded, colourful streets of Istanbul to the lazy beaches of Bodrum and ferry boat rides in Izmir. Whenever I enter the doors of Anatoli I am welcomed with the same warm hospitality that I have experienced on my many travels to Turkey. What makes the visit to Anatoli even more rewarding is the fact that with every morsel of meze I consume (of course paired with a sip of Efe Raki, and this is the real deal) I am reminded of late night dinners on balmy summer evenings on the South West Aegean Coast. The meze also reminds me of Istanbul, a mix of flavours, colours, cultures and textures. When it comes to main course, the melt in your mouth lamb cooked in yoghurt served with Turkish pilav always leaves me craving for more by the time I get home. I need to order the bigger plate but because I save space for dessert I always opt for the smaller portion. They have a saying - 'eat sweet talk sweet', and what better ending to a perfect meal than baklava (heavenly as it is not too sweet) and a cup of freshly brewed Turkish coffee.
    Whenever Turks comes to visit me in South Africa I take them for a dinner at Anatoli, and many of them agree with me when I say that the food at Anatoli is better than many of the restaurants in Turkey itself.
    Thank you to the owner, chefs and staff for a beautiful setting, food that makes you return for more, and service that makes you feel as if, just for the night, you are a sultan.

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  • I never seem to get past the delicious mezzes here. The wine list has some suitable offerings and the desserts are good. The only slight drawback on my last visit was a waiter that was a bit too unsubtle with pushing sales. He was very attentive though, which along with everything else had me at a bit of a loss for why this establishment was so empty on that mid-December evening?

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  • Excellent...lovely experience- unpretentious and fresh. Loved the portions and the flavours....although the caramel pudding was a tad too bittter....the turkish lemonade is divine, and the lamb shank was tender and generous. Will definitely do it again.
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  • I was disappointed by my last visit to Anatoli. I am a fairly regular customer because of the atmosphere and food, but will not be returning.

    When we arrived to start off my Turkish adventure I ordered an Efes Pilsner of which they were out of stock. I was disappointed but not a train smash. Without skipping a beat my friend and I asked for the best tasting special Turkish cocktails on the menu. After 3 small sips we decided that we were not in the mood for cough syrup or toothpaste and asked if we could send the drinks back and instead order a bottle of wine (at least R150+ the cost of the original drinks). Our waiter nervously explained he could not do this. We asked for the manager, who spent about 15 minutes explaining that there must be something wrong with us because people love his cocktails. While we did not disagree that many people may love his cocktails, we did not find them drinkable. He said he would take them away and consider giving us a 50% discount...for drinks we didnt drink. The bill came and sure enough he charged us for the drinks we did not drink in spite of a R550 bill and generous tip. On the way out we tried once again to explain that it seemed unreasonable to be charged for a product we found unacceptable (and did not consume), at which point the manager once again explained that there was something wrong with us for not liking his drinks. He said that because the drinks were poured, we must pay. He gave us the example that if one orders a bottle of wine but does not fancy it, one must pay for it and that no restaurant would accept an undesirable product to be taken off of the bill (I have never been to a restaurant where it is the customers responsibility to ensure satisfaction). It was off putting to say the least. The waiter was great and the food was average.
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  • Fantastic starters, great atmosphere. The mains were not really my taste...
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  • Regional cooking at its best. No frills, just good Turkish food. Having been to Turkey, this actually does compare well - no Westernised Turkish food. The portions are generous and well priced. We always over indulge on the starters! So glad to see one restaurant not resting on its laurels...year in and out always a sure winner for an intimate meal or a raucous celebration.
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  • Having dined at Anatolis regularly back in the day (a good 15 years ago), I was extremely happy to see that nothing much has changed when we went there recently! Why mess with a winning recipe? It still looks the same, and the food was as good as ever! Loved it! Were going back!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Licensed
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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