Ankara, as the name suggests, is a Turkish restaurant that's tucked away at the end of Milagiriya Avenue towards the sea side. They offer up standard Turkish food and aside from a few key items being missing, we had a fairly good experience overall.
We ordered a portion of the Hummus for starters (Rs. 395) as per tradition and it was served alongside a portion of pita bread. The hummus had a bit of a grainy texture to it which is fine, but boasted a rather prominent garlic flavour.
The pita bread was warm, fresh out of the oven and had a pleasantly fluffy, soft texture to it.
The Seafood Paella (Rs. 1,400) was an instant favourite. It came with bits and pieces of steamed fish and cuttlefish followed with two large prawns placed atop the rice. Although there isn't a lot of seafood, the dish redeems itself with the fact that the rice has a rich flavour that tastes like it's been boiled in fish stock. The portion is large enough for two so keep in mind that it's better for sharing.
The Lamb Kebab (Rs. 1,450) was an astonishingly large portion that left us fuller than we initially expected to be. It was more of a platter with lots of different elements – rice, vegetable broth, pita bread, and dipping sauce. There were three kebab skewers with large nuggets of lamb and the obvious grilled onion and pepper slices.
The rice was on par, presented with mixed vegetable and an over-abundance of peas. It was a bit of an arduous task, having to plough through pea-flavoured rice but we managed all the same.
To soothe the disappointment, we ordered the Strawberry Mohallabiah (Rs. 395), a milk pudding flavoured with rose water with a similar texture to blancmange. It is a tricky dessert to pull off perfectly and while they didn't exactly nail the recipes of old per se, they served up a pretty good version.
It looks like they've blended strawberries into the mix but the strawberry flavour didn't overwhelm us. There are also a few strawberries sprinkled on top and the overall taste comes off as a sort of thicker faluda and was pretty delicious.
Nearly all Turkish restaurants exploit the souls out of their colour schemes and Ankara's interior was no different. Each wall boasted a different design, there were four large pillars with a marble swirl pattern, interesting paintings of Ottoman jewellery hung up, stained glass windows and lampshades, and on and on.
You'd be a little taken aback once you step in because on the outside it looks a very steely grey with a beautiful decal on the door.
The music was all over the place, and was a mix of club and sorrowful Turkish music which was a pain because in addition to the intense colour scheme you have a damsel mourning about her passionate love. No thank you.
Service was good, the waiter was attentive albeit rather nervous and had to be asked twice for suggestions. Our food was brought to us about 20 minutes after we placed our orders (except for the hummus which arrived in 10).
They're still very new so we'd forgive their teething issues. We were told that they'll be introducing an entire range of dishes in the near future and will employ a pizza station, a shawarma station, and coffeeshop outside. I recommend this place if you want to try some Turkish fare.