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I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend so far! It's been so long since I've done a restaurant review and this time I'm coming at you guys with Turkish cuisine in Colombo. When I was invited to Ankara to review their menu I was quite excited as I hadn't tasted Turkish food before. Before I get in to the review I need to tell you that I cannot compare the food I had at Ankara to Turkish food as I have not tried Authentic Turkish food before. This review is purely my opinion of Ankara and the experience I had.
As we entered we were greeted well even though one of the staff members wasn't aware that I was there for a review he was quite polite and welcoming. It's always nice to walk in to a restaurant and to be greeted by friendly staff. It has a huge impact of the experience you could have when staff are trained well. The first thing I noticed was the wall art in Ankara, that is all hand painted by a local artist. Each wall had a different pattern on it which made the restaurant look quite interesting. I asked the waiter to recommend us some of their best dishes as I was quite clueless about Turkish cuisine and he suggested we went with a kebab and tried either the hummus or stuffed mushrooms.
Hummus - The hummus comes with two types of bread that you can chose from. After living in Abu Dhabi for so long I know what good hummus taste like so I was excited to review this starter. I have to say that I did enjoy the hummus and the soft bread that comes with it. The consistency wasn't to thick or to runny and we definitely enjoyed the flavor as well. If you're someone who likes hummus or someone who would like to try hummus for the first time, mention 'loveplate' to your waiter to get 20% off lunch and 10% off dinner!
Avocado drink & Turkish drink - I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the drinks too. I preferred the avocado and my sister preferred the other, it's also a tall generous glass full of your drink which is worth the price too! I liked the Avocado shake better because it also comes with ice cream, a drink and dessert in one.
Grilled Prawn Kebab - Since I am a pescatarian I ordered the prawn kebab. We were told that sea food is not their strongest compared to the lamb or chicken options but in our opinion the grilled prawn kebab was better than the lamb kebabs. It also comes with Turkish rice and a salad so it's a pretty filling dish when eaten with the two prawn kebabs. The salad had strong flavors that I enjoyed along side my prawns, however I do feel like the rice could have had more flavor to it as I had to keep topping it with gravy. The prawns are a big yes from me though!
Minced Lamb Kebab - This is a dish worth the price, as two people could easily share the lamb kebabs. My sister ordered this dish and she definitely had to mix the kebab with the rice as it was a bit on to the salty side. It comes with a side of onions and a salad which I think you definitely have to mix all the elements together to tone down the salt in the kebab. The portion of this dish is quite large which is brilliant if you want to share a dish. They have a number of different kebabs to chose from their menu, so if you do want to try out the kebabs at Ankara make sure to use my discount code!
Turkish Rice - The rice is something we wanted to try in order to review more varieties from their menu. The portion of the rice is quite large as well which could be easily shared between three or four people depending on the quantity you eat. I wish there was a little more flavor in the rice to compliment the grilled prawn and lamb kebabs. If you do order a rice you might have to get a dish that has gravy along side it as the rice tends to get a little dry.
Even though we were so full after all these dishes we were asked to try their home made ice cream and baklava after we were given a tour of the restaurant. Ankara has private rooms which you can rent for birthdays or special dinners, to enjoy your privacy and snack on Turkish food. There is also a shisha lounge within the restaurant if you want to hang out with your friends and sip on a cup of Turkish coffee.
Ice Cream and Baklava - This was another one of my favorite dishes I tried during the review. It had a blueberry flavor to it, topped with a strawberry. I'm personally not a fan of baklava but my sister did like it. For those of you who are not familiar with baklava it is layers of sweet dessert pastry which is rich, filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup or honey. I could never do pastry and sweet together, unless it was danish pastries. If you have not tried baklava before make sure to stop by at Ankara and let me know whether you like it or not and don't forget to use my discount code - loveplate.
I know many of you visited Ankara and used my discount code and I heard mostly good feedback from most of you and a lot of you asked me how to use my discount code. All you have to do it mention 'loveplate' to a waiter at Ankara and he will reduce 20% off your bill for lunch and 10% off your bill for dinner.
I hope you all have an amazing sunday and if I don't speak to you guys again soon, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
As you may know from my Instagram that I was invited to the bay leaf wine and tea room yesterday for lunch. This was the first time that I was dinning at the bay leaf so I was quite excited try their food out. As we arrived we started off with a glass of white wine for myself and red wine for my sister that we enjoyed while having the softest complimentary bread with the garlic butter that went so well together. I have added a picture of the menu as well as some of you guys requested I do that from past reviews I've done for pricing etc. The front page of the menu is pretty much the selection for mains, just to keep you guys informed. For starters we ordered the 'antipasto misto (for two)', followed by the 'filetto di salmone' for myself and the 'filetto of manzo con rosse' for my sister and to end our meal we ordered the tiramisu and the chocolate brownie for dessert. The bayleaf wine and tea room is a separate room in the bayleaf restaurant itself. Perfect for a group more than 5 people to enjoy a private dinner and really good wine.
Antipasto Misto - This is a starter to be shared by two, so we automatically went with this instead of ordering two separate starters. This dish consists of parma ham, melon, buffalo mozzarella, smoked salmon, calamari rings, battered prawns, tomato & grilled vegetables. I need to apologize to you guys before I start repeating the word AMAZING in this review. This was the first time I've been to a review where everything we ordered was cooked to perfection! My favorite on this dish was the smoked salmon. Everything on this dish was so delicious including the grilled vegetables, this is a dish you need to try if you're in the mood to split it with a friend. (Rs 1800)
Filetto Di Salmone - This was the only dish I could have ordered from the menu as I am a pescatarian but I'm not complaining. This is a beautiful dish of pan fried salmon steak with tomato confit, baby spinach, broccoli gratin, served with lemon & white wine reduction and mustard cream sauce. I have to say that it was a beautiful bed of salmon, creamy, amazing and super filling. The mustard cream sauce it comes with compliments the salmon perfectly and accompanied with a glass of white wine, I couldn't have asked for a better meal. Also, I love how the salmon steak was cooked, it didn't break or wasn't flaky while I was eating it. Definite must try if you want to switch it up from a meat dish. (Rs 2300)
Filetto Of Manzo Con Rosse - This dish was ordered by my sister and our first impression were how beautiful the plating was. The filetto of manzo con rosse is a dish of grilled Australian beef fillet with parmesan coated fried onion rings on a bed of tomatoes & cheese gnocchi with asparagus served with reduction of marsala wine. How beautiful does this dish look? I tried the onions rings and cheese gnocchi and absolutely loved both. The gnocchi is very rich, creamy and filling that it needs to be mixed with other elements in the dish. The onion rings were absolutely crispy and not oily whatsoever. She rated the beef fillet 10/10 which is a high rating from her which means it has to be amazing. There we go, I used the word amazing again. Her dish also went excellent with a glass of red wine and I'm so sad that my picture does not do justice to this dish. (Rs 2900)
Tiramisu & Chocolate Brownie - After contemplating whether to order dessert or not as we were so full after all that, we decided to go with the tiramisu and chocolate brownie. BEST DECISION EVER! My favorite was the tiramisu while my sisters favorite was the chocolate brownie but after sometime she gave in to the tiramisu as well. It's so fluffy, soft and creamy on top this was one of the best desserts I've had at a review. I think the desserts can be shared by two as you get pretty full towards the end of it. The brownie was also great with a side of vanilla ice cream it was quite a pretty dish as well. I'm sorry I haven't taken a picture of the dessert menu but maybe you need to visit the bayleaf wine and tea room to find out what else they serve? ;)
The staff is really friendly and polite as well and we really did enjoy our time at the bayleaf wine and tea room. If you're looking for a place to host 5-10 of your friends for a birthday dinner, bachelorette dinner, or even just a random night out with your friends, this room is perfect! I hope you guys liked this post as well, thank you for all the love I've been receiving from you guys!
This weekend Nayan and I were invited to BedSpace in Unawatuna which has a nice guest house vibe to it. I want to do more reviews with guest houses or private villas, instead of hotels all the time so that I do have variation for you guys to choose from before booking your weekend getaway.
Bedspace is super easy to find if you just put it on google maps, it's pretty hard to miss. They do not have parking within their premises so we had to park a few meters ahead on a bare land, which is usually their parking spot and it is suppose to be very safe. As we arrived we were greeted by Paige who is the manager at Bed space. She also purchased a dress from X.TINA the day the pup collection was out, so I was excited to deliver her package to her myself. As I walked in to the guest house I noticed that they had a few well trained cats with cute little collars and bells roaming around. I was excited to know that they had adopted 6 cats and also had 2 dogs! Rocky the dog is the main guy that runs around at Bed Space. It was quite difficult to get a picture with him but I managed to get a snap with both dogs before leaving, you will see more of it on my instagram! All of the animals are very friendly and gentle so theres no need to worry.
One of the mains attractions at BedSpace is their restaurant. It's been the number 1 restaurant on trip advisor for Unawatuna for over a year and it's also in the top 10 best restaurants in the southern province! We were pretty impressed by that and we were looking forward to dinner and breakfast.
After we settled in we headed down to the restaurant and had two smoothies and salads. I had a raw beetroot salad and I actually enjoyed it, picture is up on my instagram and yes, I enjoyed a RAW salad! Bed space is not location on the beach so it's a 5 minute walk to the beach from a little short cut. The walk is quite nice, I was able to take some nice photographs for X.TINA Instagram and we also had a look at the shops on our way to the beach. If you prefer not to walk, there are plenty of trishaws that are willing to take you the short distance.
After heading back from our relaxing time at the beach, we freshened up and headed down for dinner. The atmosphere is really nice at night especially with the lights and the music. The restaurant was quite full with outside guests dinning in. Nayan ordered a chicken burger and I ordered the prawn pad Thai and a glass of white wine. Pad Thai is also a dish I really enjoy occasionally so I thought I would go for it. I have to say the plating at Bed Space looks absolutely incredible! The chicken burger is not your typical burger. This comes with some sort of pita bread instead of a burger bun and it was filled with absolute goodness! He really enjoyed his dinner with a side of thick fries as well. As for my pad Thai the first mouth I took I noticed that the noodle was quite hard to chew. This was me comparing all the other pad thais I've had and this was the first time the noodle was quite difficult to chew. When we spoke to the waiter he was kind enough to replace my dish with a new one but I honestly think it's the type of noodle they use. The prawns however were so good and the flavor overall of the pad Thai was really, really good!
The next morning we woke up around 8am and headed down for breakfast. What I love about Bed space is breakfast is available the whole day! There is really no need to rush and try and make it before breakfast finishes. A few of you guys asked me if they had a pool and no, there is no pool at bed space but the beach is just a 5 minute walk away. Sundays special was cowboy eggs with beans. The breakfast was my favorite meal we had during our stay with BedSpace. Instead of the beans Nayan had bacon and two sausages and he loved it as much as I did! It's got a slight Mexican touch to it the way the dish looks, don't you think? The beans also had a slight Mexican flavor to it, if I'm not mistaken. Breakfast also comes with toasted bread and jam with juice and tea/coffee. The whole breakfast comes on a pita bread and I really enjoyed the breakfast ALOT!
The rooms are quite spacious and very clean. Our bed was super comfortable and I had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I wanted to sleep for slightly longer, while Nayan was more interested in seeing what was there for breakfast haha! They also have a cat named Kiki who is also black and white like my Kiki who was at home, so I decided to feature Kiki in this blog post. You will see more of our stay in our video, so stay tuned to my Instagram not to miss it!
Bed space is the perfect place if you're looking to get away from typical hotels and just relax and enjoy the company in a guest house. Surrounded by awesome people, animals and amazing food, you're definitely in for a good weekend getaway! hope you guys had a great weekend as well! Please don't hesitate to comment down below this post if you have any questions about my stay at Bed Space.