Feeling like a bit of romantic reminiscing from a trip I took to Turkey last year I ventured down to Preston Street in Ottawa, which is quickly growing into a foody Mecca, for a lunch of what turned out to be Turkish delight. Topkapi Restaurant, so named after the famous Topkapi Palace in Turkey was my destination. The restaurant is elegantly laid out, like a Sultan's tent. The flatware is spotless, napkins neatly folded and fresh, everything is meticulous. The servers, all ladies wearing white gloves are a nice touch all very polite and attentive. I even get to try the small amount of Turkish I've learned as they politely humour me.
I have eaten here before and have never been disappointed. A bit of a winter chill had me starting with the Ezo Gelin Çorbası or Red lentil soup. It arrives steaming hot and bright in colour. The flavour is hearty and rich with just enough heat from pepper to keep it dancing on your tongue after you've emptied the bowl.
My choice of main is Karışık Izgar Combination of Shish Kebap (lamb), Shish Tavuk (chicken), Kőfte (beef) and Pirzola (lamb chop), served with rice and potatoes. The rice and potato are well spiced side kicks in this play as the star of the show is #1 the lamb, then the chicken and beef. All have a wonderful open bbq scent and flavor. The portions are just right and the prices are fair for the wonderful experience of traditional Turkish fare. Check with them before you go, reservations may be needed especially on the nights where stunning belly dancing Valkyrie's float around you. Great fun for a group get together. Topkapi, 484 Preston Street Ottawa, ON(613) 230-8828