We duly visited, ate, enjoyed ourselves and had a good time, only for them to announce they were packing up and leaving on January 19 – before we got to put pen to paper.
Rarely does this happen to Dish Detective, that plans are scuppered at the last minute.
Luckily McDambi’s, in West Street, is not the only place we have filled our faces this month.
Thankfully the bountiful festive season has given us plenty of opportunity to eat out – Queens Hotel Southsea, Southsea Coffee, Andre’s Food Bar, New Place Hotel in the Meon Valley, Ken’s Kebabs in Albert Road, McDonald’s in Port Solent, to name but a few...
(Side note - we are really sad to see McDambi’s go. We were fond of Ask which used to occupy the premises before McDambi’s and when Sara and Oli – previously of the Roebuck Inn at Wickham – took over we really hoped they could make it work.)
But we visited somewhere that is always top notch – and we thought it best to shout about their wonderful food, and hopefully stop another great business following the same fateful path as McDambi’s.
It’s a bit off the beaten track but the Anatolian in Waltham Chase is truly a superb meal out.
It’s a regular favourite of Dish Detective, and as a last minute treat a few days before Christmas, and with a surprise babysitting service provided, we were able to slip out and enjoy their wonderful food.
Knowing how busy it usually is at the Anatolian, which is in a converted pub, we rang ahead and spoke to a rather surprised-sounding waiter about wanting a table for two in the next 15 minutes.
We were pleasantly surprised ourselves when the answer was a loud and welcoming yes, no problem.
When we got there, we realised why. Covid and the government's ‘best thing to do is stay at home’ message had really hit here.
With only two other tables for company, we had the pick of the usually packed dining room.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, the kitchen was clearly busy as we watched them prepare box after box of takeaway food.
Now the Anatolian, a Turkish restaurant, is good. We’d happily eat their takeaway food any day of the week (watch out Ken) - but to get the full experience you really need to eat in.
A couple of draft pints of Efes lager goes well, with the starter automatically brought on Turkish bread and dips.
The kitchen is open plan, clean and efficient. And what strikes Dish Detective every time they visit is the number of Turkish people who eat here. It seems to be a real home from home.
You are guaranteed a friendly welcome and the food is among the best we know.
We order a lamb shish (£15.55), lean, tender cubes of lamb skewered and grilled over a barbecue served with cous cous and salad, plus a side of chips.
The food is fresh, tasty and plentiful and the atmosphere makes you want to live in Turkey for the food alone.
On this occasion Dish Detective is too full for dessert, trust us and wear an expandable waistband, but we know from past experiences the baklava is exceptional.
Covid has hit hospitality businesses hard. The government has left them in a limbo land of having no support and no real custom. Empty dining rooms are a frequent sight. If you value your local businesses keep eating out and supporting them.
Especially those like the Anatolian which are run by local hard-working families and which produce exceptional food and service as a daily occurrence.
Top marks Anatolian.
RATINGS (OUT OF FIVE):
Tel: 01489 890144
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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