The latest establishment to move into the trendy Xinyuan Xili complex in Liangmaqiao is Turkish Feast, a sister restaurant to the beloved Georgia’s Feast. It’s an excellent addition to the area that already features expat favorites boasting Japanese, Mexican and Peruvian cuisines.
The place itself is enchanting: The entrance is bejeweled with mosaic lamps and the entire decor has a strong Turkish feel. A blend of traditional and ostensibly Top 40 Middle Eastern songs blare throughout the restaurant, but it’s hardly bothersome. Instead, it adds to the jovial atmosphere, bolstered by TVs playing travel shows about Turkey and a staff of wonderfully kind men who seem to treat all of their patrons as family.
We start off with an assorted mezze platter (RMB98) and chose a classic hummus, their spicy mezze and, per one waiter’s recommendation, the yogurt eggplant mezze. All three would make any mezze lover happy, but we especially enjoy the hummus, a relatively difficult product to find here in the ‘Jing. Their spinach and feta pide (RMB78), flatbread made in their stone oven, is fine, although lacking in the feta department, and the chicken kebabs are served beautifully and taste even better, with a tangy side dish of yogurt that we end up dipping all of our food into. The highlight far and away is a Turkish-style lamb dish (RMB108) that nearly melts off the bone and is so well spiced and perfectly cooked that our mouths are still watering long after it’s gone.
We sample some cocktails as well, with their signature Antalya (RMB78) and Passion Fruit Tequila (RMB68), highly recommended, along with their delicious Georgian Saperavi wine (RMB 78 per glass). They even have traditional Turkish raki to sip on (although we don’t necessarily encourage this one if you aren’t familiar with the national liquor). The majority of the desserts were sold out, which speaks for itself, though they did have one in stock – semolina (RMB58), a sweet and simple sponge cake.
The prices edge toward unreasonable for the amount of food served (and beware: they charge you for extra bread, even when you are dropping nearly 100 kuai on mezze), but the food you get is fantastic. The atmosphere is unique and lovely, the food equally so, and with just enough kitsch to help it stand out in Beijing’s crowded culinary scene, Turkish Feast is a feast well worth it.
[Images via Curtis Dunn for That’s]