Plano >Cafe Istanbul Turkish And Mediterranean Restaurant of Plano
This restaurant is robbing Plano folks blind by offering poor quality food and unexplainable high prices and over charges even in compare to its sibling in Dallas. The service has improved since it opened but the food quality and the usual over charges have remained the same. Definately microwaved specially the falafels which used to be excellent.
Beautiful Restaurant, Great Service but improve on Flavor.
First several positives:
Fantastic Location: really nice decor, I really liked the tile work onthe ceiling and the blue decorative glass circles on the wall. Tasteful and not overly done. We were visiting from houston and it was our first time at The Shops at Legacy, packed with people, they had jazz music playing outside the restaurant and a really great vibe in general.
Wonderful Service: Every staff member was courteous, checked on us several times and had a smile on their face. The food came out in a timely fashion, they gave decent portions. Their complimentary big floofy white thin bread came piping hot out of the oven and was replenished throughout dinner.
Website: professional, up to date, has pictures, menus and prices.
Now for the Negatives...
Flavor of Food: This is where they lost most of their points.
Ispanki Borek (spinach in phillo dough), this was pretty tasty and the pastery was nice and flakey, but for $4.95 there was one small pastry, the portion size was too small.
The main course items I cant find on their website menu but I asked them to especially have spicey food with as much flavor as possible. I asked our waiter's advice on what he recommended had the most flavor/spice and he pointed the following and we selected them...
I ordered chicken pieces on a bed of sauteed creamed eggplant, it was extremely bland. The chicken had weak flavor, the eggplant tasted like wallpaper. I asked him to bring olive oil and some red pepper flakes which did help a little.
My dad ordered what i woudl describe as chicken roll ups with a red cream sauce. The chicken (which seemed to be the same as mine), the red sauce was also totally flat in flavor and zestyness and overall it was a complete fail aside from the juicy rice.
My mom ordered either lamb or beef pieces with red cabbage. The meat was again not flavorful, a little tough and chewy, raw inside and just blah. The vinegared cabbage was done perfectly though.
The meats should have been marinated either longer or their marinade needs to be improved on. Perhaps add sumak garlic and more lemon? I have been to several Turkish restaurants in Houston, NY and LA along with Lebanese and Irani restaurants. I expected this to be at par with those and was disappointed.
Ive never had bad eggplant dishes either, Im not sure how that was really possible. Its the most tasty vegetable. I thought it would be simiar to Kash e Badenjaan which is an Irani dish that is also a sauteed and pureed eggplant but it tastes like absolute heaven or at least like Baba Ganoush (lebanese eggplant version of that).
Also, it would increase the ambience if there was Turkish music playing, like the song on the website...
It seems like a brand new restaurant and Im sure if they worked on their flavor this upscale restuarnat would be an A+ experience. I hope that the owner/chef has a chance to read this, it was meant as honest feedback. I wish this restaurant the best of luck and success in the future. I would stop by again if I was in the area to get the spinach pastery. :)
Best in Texas and the only one. Just loved the place...Have been there a few days ago and the whole restaurant is one huge enjoyment,startin with the warm welcome,the freshly prepared food,with the most tender lamb i have ever had...and the top of the line is the dessert with Turkish coffee.I will reccomend this restaurant for everybody and rate is 5 star service and food wise...
Little info on turkish food.
If you are unsure what turkis food is , here is a little history. Love the spices and the true enjoyment of the food and the people from this country:
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western European. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Middle Eastern cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt), creating a vast array of technical specialities- many with strong regional associations.
A cup of Turkish coffeeTaken as a whole, Turkish cuisine is not homogeneous. Aside from common Turkish specialities that can be found throughout the country, there are also many region-specific specialities. The Black Sea region's cuisine (northern Turkey) is based on corn and anchovies. The southeast—Urfa, Gaziantep and Adana—is famous for its kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, kadayıf and künefe. Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees are grown abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions display basic characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine as they are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia is famous for its pasta specialties, such as keşkek (kashkak), mantı (especially from Kayseri) and gözleme.
Fantastic Turkish and Mediterranean food. If you are looking for the best Turkish restaurant or the best Mediterranean food in Plano and Dallas, go to Istanbul. I ate here for the first time last week and had an amazing feast. The lamb shish kabobs, the lavish choices of bread, the hummus and tubule. All excellent! The Friday and Thursday night crowd get a special treat of belly dancing at 8:30 and excellent service all week long. I really can’t say enough about this Mediterranean / Turkish restaurant in Plano. They also have a location in Dallas on Lovers, so go to either of these Turkish / Mediterranean restaurants and feast on life and amazing food!
Thank you so much for your review bettieo! Please introduce yourself next time you are in Cafe Istanbul in Plano. We appreciate your enthusiasm.
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