Restaurant review

Restaurant Review: Anatolian Turkish Restaurant, Waltham Chase

We duly visited, ate, enjoyed ourselves and had a great time, only to have them announce they were packing up and leaving on January 19th – before we could put pen to paper.

It rarely happens at Dish Detective that plans get scuppered at the last minute.

Luckily McDambi’s on West Street isn’t the only place we’ve filled our faces with this month.

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Anatolia, Winchester Road, Waltham Chase. Photo: Sarah standing (260121-1549)

Luckily the bountiful festive season gave us plenty of dining opportunities – 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, for to name a few. …

(Side note – we are really sad to see McDambi go. We were very fond of Ask who occupied the place before McDambi and when Sara and Oli – previously from the Roebuck Inn in Wickham – took over we really hoped they could operate.)

But we visited a place that is still top notch – and thought it better to shout about their wonderful food and hopefully stop another great company following the same fateful path as McDambi’s.

It’s a bit off the beaten path, but the Anatolian at Waltham Chase is truly a superb meal.

Some of the Anatolian dishes the Dish Detective tasted during lockdown.

It’s a regular Dish Detective favourite, and as a last minute treat a few days before Christmas, and with surprise babysitting, we were able to slip away and enjoy their delicious food.

Knowing how busy it usually gets at the Anatolian, which is a converted pub, we phoned ahead and spoke to a rather surprised waiter wanting a table for two within the next 15 minutes .

We were pleasantly surprised when the answer was a loud and welcoming yes, no problem.

When we arrived we understood why. Covid and the government’s “best thing to do is stay home” message had really hit here.

With only two other tables for company, we had our pick of the usually crowded dining room.

However, it wasn’t all bad, the kitchen was clearly busy as we watched them prepare box after box of take-out food.

Now the Anatolian, a Turkish restaurant, is good. We’d love to eat their take-out any day of the week (watch out Ken) – but to get the full experience, you really have to eat in.

A few pints of Efes draft beer are fine, with the starter automatically brought over Turkish bread and dips.

The kitchen is open, clean and efficient. And what strikes Dish Detective on every visit is how many Turks eat here. It seems like a real home away from home.

You are assured of a warm welcome and the food is among the best we have had.

We order a lamb shish (£15.55), lean and tender cubes of lamb skewered and grilled on a barbecue served with couscous and salad, plus a side of chips.

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The food is fresh, tasty and plentiful and the vibe 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 a stretchy waistband, but we know from experience that the baklava is outstanding.

Covid has hit hospitality businesses hard. The government has left them in limbo, without support or real custom. Empty dining rooms are common. If you value your local businesses, continue to eat out and support them.

Especially ones like Anatolian which are run by hard working local families who produce exceptional food and service on a daily basis.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

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