So, I have a foodie confession to make…..I have never been to Turkey Central. When we found out we were moving to Qatar one of the first things I did was Google the restaurants I could go to in the first week. Seriously. One of the restaurants that was mentioned repeatedly was Turkey Central, it was described as a ‘Doha institution’ a ‘must go to’ place. I pencilled it in. Fast forward two years and despite many good intentions we’ve never actually made it there until tonight. Hearing that parking nearby can be a nightmare we Ubered and after a frustratingly long journey we arrived about 5.30pm.
It was fairly quiet when we went up to the restaurant, maybe about 6 tables occupied and we were quickly given menus. The place is light and bright, there are lots of tables and I imagine it gets pretty noisy when it’s busy. The service from the first waiter who was a bit bizarre, we couldn’t be sure he understood what we were asking for as he was mumbling and not making any notes. We chose hummus, baba ganoush, mixed grill, meat shawarma and Turkish bread. For drinks a small water and fresh carrot juice. Our starters arrived after about 10 minutes but then a different waiter came to take our drinks order. We explained we’d already ordered, repeated our request and a couple of minutes later the water arrived but no juice.
The Turkish bread was hot, crisp and light. Dipping the bread into creamy hummus and sweet, smokey baba ganoush was an excellent start. We had to stop ourselves from eating all the bread so we wouldn’t be too full!
After about 15 minutes our main course arrived but oddly our table wasn’t cleared of the empty plates and dishes. At this point my carrot juice arrived, it was worth waiting for as it was very fresh and pure with no added flavours or sweetner.
My mixed grill was nestled under a thin layer of bread which was smothered in a light tomato sauce and had soaked up lots of the meat juices. Hidden underneath the bread was lovely cubes of marinated chicken and lamb with slightly spiced koftas and a bed of red onion and fresh herbs. The meat was so tender and flavoursome. The meat shawarma was hot and packed with salad, shaved meat and light, tangy dressing. Both portions were of a generous size.
At the end of the meal we went to the counter and gave our table number. We were then given a receipt which we took downstairs to pay. The bill came to 71QR which was very reasonable for such a tasty meal. I can understand why Turkey Central is so popular, it was getting very busy as we left and the takeaway orders were lined up. We enjoyed our meal, the food was good but the service was a bit hit and miss. Overall though I think to travel there from West Bay is a bit of a trek especially in rush hour. If we were in the area we’d definitely visit again but for a very similar meal closer to home I still love Royal Istanbul!!