Monday night in Leeuwarden. Apparently most places are closed but the hotel receptionist told me that Bosporus was open and within 5 minutes walk. I arrived at about 8:45pm and I was hungry. Only one other table was occupied by 6 diners who had finished eating their main course. I walked to the centre of the restaurant which is decorated in a distressed stone effect including a big chunk missing from a large concrete roof beam. The tables are plain dark wood with comfortable chairs and the far end of the long room has an enclosed room which appears to contain a grill and bread oven. Still I stood. The one public-facing man was the greeter, bar man and waiter who finished his conversation before seeing what I wanted. I wanted to eat!
Given an English menu, the availability of food read very well with a marked Turkish theme. Very Mediterranean with salads, feta, olives, inevitably the kebab in various forms and dishes generally involving lamb was to the fore. There were some fish options too.
I ordered a shrimp starter and a steak to follow. Shortly after I ordered, a couple of young men came in and took a corner seat. Very quickly they had a 'hubbly-bubbly' smoke pipe delivered along with a cup of coffee. Sharing the pipe they started to affect the neutral smell of the place with perfumed applewood smoke or similar. The air circulation took most of it away ... for a while.
My starter arrived at 9:05pm and was a smallish ornate metal bowl of small prawns with mushroom and onion in a sauce akin to an Indian masala. It was very tasty although I would've liked it to be a bit larger in quantity and with more prawns. Fresh Turkish bread similar to Naan was provided which was nice.
Then I waited ... and waited ... and waited. Meanwhile, the boys in the corner were taking photos of each other in a haze of smoke. I kept turning ostentatiously in my seat to try and attract the one-man-band to no avail. At 9:40pm I got up and went to him and asked where my main course was. I queried that if it took :50 minutes to prepare a steak for one diner then how did the kitchen manage if more than 1 person wanted to eat ... and there are many tables in the room.
The steak arrived at 9:45 accompanied with separate basic china bowls with a nice salad in one, Turkish style rice in another, rosemary and salted roast potatoes in a third and garlic cream in another. It was nice food. The steak was nicely cooked and I cleared the whole lot because it was tasty AND because I was almost beyond hungry!
This nicely flavoured food was being ruined by the 'hubbly boys' puffing out smoke like a locomotive climbing a gradient so I stopped eating and got up to open the main door to the street and nearly bumped into the elusive waiter. So I asked him to open the door to clear the air. He did for a few minutes but there was now a howling draft of cold air coming in so he shut it again.
I finished my food and immediately got up to pay and leave. I told him exactly why I was leaving in a haste. If my wife and daughter had been with me we would've left the moment the hubbly came out as one would've had a migraine and the other an asthma attack. No diners behaviour should ever impact on another's dining experience and this was a shocking demonstration of poor restaurant management.
The chef should kick the waiter's butt because there is nothing wrong with his food just front of house. I wouldn't go back just in case the hubbly twins return!
And to cap it all, they don't take any credit cards so I had to part with precious cash! Grrr.
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