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Turkey Dinner

By 24 February 2008 41

I’m not sure that this qualifies as news but last night I had a really poor experience in a Turkish restaurant and I hope you forgive me for being self-indulgent and ranting.
Issues:

After 30 minutes seated in a fairly empty restaurant, we still had not been provided with menus. Went over and asked the bored-looking staff for menus.
Brought our own wine (it’s a BYO) had to walk to the bar and ask for an ice bucket and glasses
Nobody came to take our order. Had to walk to the bar to ask the barman to get a waiter out of the kitchen to take our order.
Ordered the $34.95pp banquet (8 people)
We were not provided with a drinks menu for those who didn’t drink the BYO wine. Those who didn’t, went thirsty…
Entree arrived – bread, dips, zucchini balls. No cutlery. Had to go to the bar to ask the barman to get someone to bring us cutlery.
Just as the cutlery arrived, so did the salad and the pide. By now the table was crowded out, the pide was getting cold because we we’d just started on the dips…
The kebabs arrived – for 7 people, not 8. We ate hurriedly – everything was getting cold.
Before we’d gotten even halfway through the meal, a young waiter brought the baklava and turkish delight – we were still eating salad and kebabs.
We stacked our own dishes because nobody came to clear the table.
They forgot to bring the coffee that was included in the “banquet”. We ate the baklava without coffee.
One of our friends went to the bar and asked about the coffee. Around 20 minutes later a waiter came to take our order.
Before we’d finished our coffee, the restaurant turned half of the lights off. It was just 10pm.

Now…I’ve eaten at this place many times before, always with fantastic service, great food, and the great belly-dancer that turns up at around 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights – in fact, we got up and danced with her. Sadly though, this will be the last time I take friends to the Turkish at Dickson. As I paid the $280 bill, I didn’t get so much as a thank you from the disinterested staff – so I commented on the poor service and mentioned that we wouldn’t come back.

The apathy was so outstanding that they didn’t even seem to care.

It was a real turkey of a dinner.

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41 Responses to Turkey Dinner
#1
KarlG11:33 am, 24 Feb 08

Maybe the boss wasn’t there – don’t let one poor experience ruin your day!
Just make sure the proprietor knows what happened.

#2
nyssa7611:54 am, 24 Feb 08

I’ll go to the Turkish Grill in Erindale more so than any other in Canberra.

An ex-student’s dad owns it and I’ve never been disappointed. I ordered it for a group lunch last week and they even threw in some dips for free.

Love the place.

#3
el ......TECortina 21:36 pm, 24 Feb 08

Thanks for the heads up nyssa – I’ve always seen that place but was worried it was ‘just another run of the mill Turkish joint’.

#4
futto1:52 pm, 24 Feb 08

Lamb Skewers from Erindale are the best!

#5
Mike Crowther4:09 pm, 24 Feb 08

No attention after 30 min and you still sat there??? More patience than I my friend. I’d have taken it as a portent and been out the door. There is no shortage of good Turkish places in Canberra from the inexpensive Pide House to the grand (forget its name) in Manuka….
Never reward bad behavior.

#6
ant4:14 pm, 24 Feb 08

Pide House at Jamieson is always excellent, with their dusty plants! Was very disappointed with their branch in Woden though, won’t go there again.

Ottoman (the posh one in Manuka Mike was trying to think of) is now behind the Edmund Barton Building just off Kings Ave, very pretty setting and they run a fantastic cafeteria in the day for all the office workers in the area.

#7
Danman4:33 pm, 24 Feb 08

Turkish Delight in Belco Heights near old goodberrys is awesome.

#8
Vic Bitterman7:27 pm, 24 Feb 08

Agreed on the Turkish Grill in Erindale. We’ve had lunches there a few times, and there is so much food provided we always have doggy bags afterwards! The service is outstanding, and the food itself is great value.

#9
shauno9:25 pm, 24 Feb 08

“Turkish Delight in Belco Heights near old goodberrys is awesome.”

Sounds good I’ll have to check it out.

#10
ant11:12 pm, 24 Feb 08

Turkish Delight in Belo is still open? holy crap! that’s the first Turkish I ever went to, must have been the very early 80s. It was excellent.

#11
CanberraResident11:34 pm, 24 Feb 08

Just curious swami, you say you’ve eaten at this restaurant before with fantastic service etc. Have you ever posted on RiotACT about your wonderful experiences at this particular restaurant?

#12
swamiOFswank12:34 am, 25 Feb 08

Hi CanberraResident. If you read carefully I mentioned that all of my previous experiences there were great. Maybe it was just a bad night. Maybe it’s gone down the gurgler.

#13
shanefos8:16 am, 25 Feb 08

Baker Turk at Page Shops. $30 for a two-person banquet, more than enough (excellent) food for 4 people!
And you can get breakfast there.
Not the nicest place to dine in at though. Page Shops are pretty run down these days.

#14
CanberraResident8:48 am, 25 Feb 08

swami, I did read very carefully. I merely asked whether you had given this restaurant praise in the past?

You have now had no problem spraying them with a negative >30 line write-up, which is what people will remember. THAT was the main point in your rant, not the fact that it was fantastic on occasions in the past. The damage is done. I hope you’re happy. People are too quick to point out the negatives, and the positives hardly ever get the 30 lines they deserve.

Hats off to those people who give praise on this site. There’s not enough of it.

#15
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_9:16 am, 25 Feb 08

There’s a Turkish Grill in Queanbeyan now, and a takeaway 2 person banquet is enough food to feed 5 hungry adults, usually with leftovers. We have gotten food from there several times now, and it’s always been great. If you get the chance, try them out.

#16
lisagrace9:24 am, 25 Feb 08

CanberraResident, swami was quite clear in saying that all past experiences at this restaraunt were good, and that this was one bad experience – why do you feel the need to have a go?

“The damage is done. I hope you’re happy” – calm down… a negative restaraunt review is hardly getting worked up about.

Swami has as much right as anyone else on this forum to post a review, negative or positive. Do you get shirty with everyone who posts something negative on RA?

And perhaps if you think there isn’t enough praise and positivity on RA, why don’t you contribute some??

#17
RandomGit9:26 am, 25 Feb 08

I did a stint behind the bar at that Turkish swami. lets say it has…… gone through some negative staffing changes in the past six months.

#18
needlenose11:02 am, 25 Feb 08

Meh, CanberraResident – if you go to a restaurant and have a great time, that’s actually exactly what you paid for. Unless you’re a professional reviewer, it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, warrant a post, unless for some reason the whole thing was completely out of the ordinary (they comped you a bottle of Moet for your birthday, perhaps, or jump-started your car when you left your lights on over dinner).

My reaction to this is the same as it is to those people who complain that there’s never any *good* news on the 7pm bulletin – gods preserve us from a world where the good things are so out of the ordinary that they make a news bulletin.

If you go to a restaurant and have fantastic food and excellent service – that ought not to be “news”. That ought to be no more than you should expect, the same way if I buy a washing machine I expect it to work. It’s only a big deal if it doesn’t. So if you had a crappy time and didn’t get the food or service you paid for, then that ought to be sufficiently out of the ordinary to warn people about.

#19
Danman11:47 am, 25 Feb 08

Needlenose, true, however any post – negative or positive shoul dbe taken with a grain of salt when comeing from a first/new time poster.

I would also prefer to have positive reviews of restaraunts too so I can find some gems that I would have otherwise been unaware of.

#20
ant12:10 pm, 25 Feb 08

Where’s that Turkish Grill in Qbn? Sounds worthwhile… I know there’s several Turkish/Lebo places, but which one is this one?!

I like to read all reviews, good and bad, as both types are essential to working out where’s good and where’s not good. I use the info I read here as it’s “real”, from people, not paid advertorial. Eating out costs a motz these days. I’m not willing to pay for something that’s mediocre or bad.

#21
shanefos1:19 pm, 25 Feb 08

“…however any post – negative or positive shoul dbe taken with a grain of salt when comeing from a first/new time poster.”

How does the number of posts one has made make their comments any more or less credible?
By your logic, I should get on here and post thousands of blank/gibberish posts and I’d quickly become the font of all knowledge. “Ask me a question and I will give you irrefutable truth, my son”…. WTF?!

#22
swamiOFswank1:39 pm, 25 Feb 08

Yes, Danman, it’s my first post, however it’s far from my first contribution to the Riot – I’ve commented on many things for quite a long time now. I’m sorry that you think my first post isn’t worth anything more than taking with a grain of salt. I simply was very disappointed with something I paid for, wanted to share about it…and I’m grateful for the recommendations of others when it comes to Turkish restaurants – I’ll give them a try next time.

#23
needlenose2:01 pm, 25 Feb 08

@ Danman – thought I’d seen the poster’s name before, but seriously didn’t get the impression s/he’s sole purpose in joining the site was to destroy this restaurant (I appreciate that there are some posters who join with some agenda; just didn’t get that vibe off this one. For one thing you have to read quite carefully to work out which restaurant it is).

And I totally agree with you that it is also good to have positive reviews to choose from. My response was to CanberraResident who seemed to be suggesting that you weren’t entitled to say anything bad about a restaurant you’d previously enjoyed if you hadn’t said anything positive about it before. That I don’t agree with. Enjoying your experience at a restaurant ought to be the bog standard. And I thought the comments about having had good experiences there before were merely to provide context as to why the poster thought this worthy of mention, and to leaven the criticism by explaining that this was not his/her usual experience of this restaurant.

#24
CanberraResident6:25 pm, 25 Feb 08

needlenose, I was merely pointing out the fact that people are always far too quick to point out the negative, and not as quick to point out the positive. It’s a massive problem in society. Negativity reigns. And don’t tell me to do something about it; everybody needs to come to the party on that one and shed some positivity in the world. For Heaven’s sake mate, Aussies complain about bad service, when people in other countries don’t even eat!!! We have become a society of whingers; quite embarrassing actually. Get over it. I’m over this topic. End.

#25
needlenose6:38 pm, 25 Feb 08

CanberraResident – definitely not going to tell you to do anything about it! Because I don’t think it’s a problem. Which also means I’ve nothing to get over.

It’s all in how you look at it. What you see as negativity, I see as “exception reporting” to a norm of positivity. Which for me makes it a Good Thing, but for you a Bad Thing.

But YMMV of course, which is the great beauty of this site. The glass may be half full, half empty, or merely twice as big as it needs to be. Pax.

#26
ASP6:44 pm, 25 Feb 08

Wow, service certainly sounds poor, though I must say it sounds too bad to be true. I do question however why this has been posted? So he had one bad experience at a restaurant which has always being good. Sounds to me like the were having a bad night, perhaps some trainee staff were on. I do not believe this warrants a whole rant. I do hope you at least contacted the manager with your concerns rather than just slander them on here.

#27
el ......TECortina 27:09 pm, 25 Feb 08

I’m happy to read negative reviews on shit restaurants so I don’t have to experience them myself.

I’ve got to wonder why you’d ONLY want positive reviews on this site, ASP.

#28
ASP7:29 pm, 25 Feb 08

I didn’t say that el.
I said that:

1. I hope he contacted management – I would hope that he didn’t just come on hear and rant but also provided constructive feedback to the restaurant and perhaps even pursue compensation to make up for the disappointing experience he had. I have had bad experiences at restaurants and cafes and after contacting management have received compo (eg.free meal) and have usually seen the issues rectified in future visits.

2.This may have being a one off. The poster admitted the restaurant as been good in the past. Why post such a review over one bad experience out of so man good ones. if it happens a couple of times, the response from management is unsatisfactory or there is a trend of negative issues then perfectly justified.

I’m happy to read negative reviews on shit restaurants so I don’t have to experience them myself.
One bad experience does not make a restaurant “shit”. If I took such a view, I would never eat out again.
Negative or positive, the result should constructive.

#29
el ......TECortina 27:32 pm, 25 Feb 08

And my response was directed at this:
I do question however why this has been posted?
I’d guess ’cause he had a sh!t of an experience there.

Are you the new moderator here?

#30
Ari8:30 pm, 25 Feb 08

El, remember ASP is a confirmed “lady-man”, so why not give him/her moderator status?

… in the the interests of inclusiveness. ;-)

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