Always eager for different cuisines, the lunch crew this week headed for Anatolia’s Gate…Burnaby’s one and only Turkish restaurant.
We got there just after they opened for lunch. Good thing. The room filled up rather quickly and along with take-out orders, the owner and his wife were frantically trying to keep up.
The restaurant is comfortable and very clean. Turkish rugs hang from the walls along with giant urns and clay pitchers. Only the hookahs were missing.
We started with the Mixed Plate (large).
This is one of the best Mediterranean platters I’ve seen. An exceptional variety and a great range of flavors: fresh tomato & onion salad, garlicky hummus and baba ganoush, Chemen (a fiery tomato paste and walnut dip), stuffed grape leaves, refreshing red cabbage (ajuka) and carrot salads along with big, marinated olives and salty chunks of feta. Two bowls of really well made tzatziki added to make a perfect starter.
The platter is served with Lavash, a massive balloon of bread baked to order in their wood-fired oven.
The lavash is pierced to release the steam. Pieces are torn off and the feast begins.
Chicken Iskender. Tender pieces of chicken in a tomato and yogurt sauce.
Urfa Kebob. An over-grilled skewer of ground beef rolled in way too many chile flakes served with plain rice and a mediocre green salad. This is where the tzatziki comes in VERY handily. I love heat and all but this is a classic case of overkill.
The Meat Lover’s Pide.
All in all, Anatolia’s Gate is a beautiful gem of a restaurant. The mixed platter and lavash were delicious, plentiful and at $15, a bargain. Unfortunately, the mains were hastily prepared and at $10+ weren’t worth the cost. The friendly owner and his wife do all the cooking and serving. With a helping hand or two this place has a lot of potential.