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“Disappointing”
Review of Empires

Empires
Ranked #957 of 2,590 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $33
Cuisines: Turkish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Old Town
Reviewed November 23, 2013

I had dined here several times before but some time ago. Has the restaurant changed hands? I could not order mezze dishes individually but had to order 3 on one plate so it was impossible to share. The green beans were tepid and soggy, the moussaka lacked taste. The salad was heaped in the middle of the plate and became soggy too. I asked for a wine bucket but they did not have one so the wine went in their fridge.
Poor.

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4  Thank picasso176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 - 100 of 164 reviews

Reviewed November 1, 2013

I ate at Empires on a Thursday night, it was quite early and we were the only table. The decor is beautiful with hanging lamps and traditional Turkish furnishing. We had vegetarian meze platters which were lovely. The service was great and not too expensive.

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Thank Amelia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

My third review of Empires, whenever we visit Edinburgh it is top of our list to visit. We were in Edinburgh last Saturday (28th Sept), phoned at around 6.00 to ask if we could reserve a table for later that evening, at 9.30... 'No, we close at 9.30' (this is a city centre restaurant on a Saturday night??!!??). So we asked 'Can we make it 9.00 then please?'... 'No its not enough time for the kitchen'. So we were told 8.30 was the latest we could have. I would have left it and gone elsewhere, however it's my husbands favourite place, so he really wanted to go.

I wasn't best pleased, as I wanted to chill out in the hotel for a while before getting ready to go out, (we had just climbed Arthurs Seat!). So we had to get ready immediately and go out much earlier than planned.

We arrived in Empires at 8.30, there were only two other tables taken. I always find its a surprise and a shame it's so quiet (though considering their attitude to 'customers', maybe not??!!??). We ordered our food, which as we knew it would be, was delivered to our table less than 10 minutes after ordering. No complaints about the food, first class as ever.

We were just finishing our wine, around 9.15 when a table of 4 people walked in, were sat down, 2 of them went out to the local shop for alcohol. When they got back, they all put their order in, at 9.25?!?!?!. I was already annoyed about having to dine so early and it really did take the shine off the meal, however, this made me beyond cross. We were told we had to be there for 8.30, then an hour later they are serving people who wander in off the street.

My husbands theory as to what happened is that the lady he spoke to on the phone (one of the 2 female waitresses) told him 8.30, as they think if they get everyone in early, that they can go home early. The guy who owns the restaurant wasn't there when we first arrived, but had turned up by the time we left, so maybe if he is there, their attitude changes and they don't turn people away.

I think the boss should be aware of what is going on. As the restaurant is wonderful and it would be a shame if they loose custom because of how other staff are dealing with telephone bookings, from paying customers, who are made to feel like an inconvenience!

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2  Thank helen186233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

visited 'Empires' today (6/10/13) and decided to write a review as I still have a bitter aftertaste after the visit. went there with my friends, who have been in Empires before, couple of years ago thou and enjoyed the place.
today it was very disappointing. let's start from menu: tapas style bits only and thou menu says that most of them can be served as main dishes, waitress said that it would be meals kids-size and they don't generally do mains (their website offers mains). the choice is good -around 20 mezes to choose from...but they are served as platters only- choice of platter of 3 (£12) platter of 5 (£15) and 'party platter' £21 per person (unlimited top up of food - again when asked waitress said that it is for large parties only). we chose 2 platters of 5 mezes and tea. tea arrived in 1 pot (for 3 people) and wasn't much more than 200ml per person (charged £8.55!!! a bit of a shock as for a small pot of tea). mezes arrived (as somebody mentioned already) on a charity shop style plates, small ones. looked not too bad, although we had some problem to identify what is what on the platter. the food was generally cold or near cold. the quality and look -it was obvious that it wasn't freshly made but rather warmed up (not even warmed up properly), maybe microwaved. 1. grilled halloumi was served lukewarm, 3 small thin slices. 2. musakka was lukewarm again and generally looked like prepared few days before. 3. peppers stuffed with feta were just laughable - 2 tiny slices of pepper (3cm by 3 cm size) with some feta cheese (not even 0.5cm thick layer) pathetic. 4. lamb musakka- I believe thay actually put some lamb mince inside thou i didn't find any proof of it. 5. muska borek- spinach filled pastry - 2 small triangles of something - hardly anything inside, maybe 1cm thick, tiny. 6. beef and herb meatballs -again cold, served dry, no sauce, 2 little meatballs, thumb-sized.
service - waitresses although 2 of them were hardly interested (with only us in the whole restaurant) never came to ask how our food was.

i will never go there again and don't recommend anyone to try it.

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4  Thank Ela106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Good value, great décor, great staff, great vibe, great coffee.
Try and reserve the wee bit upstairs and you'll be transported out of grey Scotland into a Turkish snug bar!
Get the espresso at the end medium sweet.

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Thank Wardy1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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