With Glasgow eyes focussed on the opening of a restaurant with a pun in its name, I decided to adopt my usual tactic of aimlessly wandering. This pursuit brought me to the door of Alla Turca, on Pitt Street.
As returning readers will be aware, I’m a big fan of Turkish food, with Istanbul my perennial holiday destination. I’ve been lucky to find a good few decent Turkish spots in Edinburgh, in recent times.
With Alla Turca, the setting was a fairly standard, smart restaurant, with the addition of Turkish stylings, like neat little lamps, evil eyes, and pictures of Ataturk. The soundtrack further set the mood.
Their lunchtime menu offered one course for £6.90 and two for £9.90. I took a blended approach, choosing the mixed grill (£2 supplement) from the one course menu, then adding a side of creamy spinach.
Although I’m sagely assured that spinach is usually served in a range of healthy ways in Turkish cuisine, my only experience of it has been as absolute butter and cream heaven, which is very much where today’s dish was aimed.
It was effectively an unblended cream of spinach soup, with buttery spinach served in lashings of rich cream, with some mushrooms added in for good measure. I could have eaten about a hundredweight of the stuff. Elegant, no, but decadent and artery hardening, yes.
The selection of meat in the mixed grill, with a lamb chop, lamb kebab, and chicken and lamb skewers, was good, but nothing really stood out as particularly memorable. The accompanying tomato rice, a Turkish staple, was a little under-seasoned, which was unusual given how well seasoned all the other items were.
So overall, I enjoyed my visit to Alla Turca. It offered simple, hearty Turkish food, in smart and welcoming surroundings. I loved the spinach, although I’m not sure its high calorie majesty would appeal to all tastes. I’d happily return to Alla Turca, and would be glad to point you in its direction.
Blythe scores Alla Turca
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: mixed grill, creamy spinach
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: linen suit
Total bill: £15.16