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“Overrated, very average main courses”
Review of Lokanta Maya - CLOSED

Lokanta Maya
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Karakoy
Birmingham, UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Overrated, very average main courses”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We visited on a Wed evening, restaurant was fairly busy with an equal mix of Turkish and American/UK visitors, had a nice buzz about it.
We had the pastrami starter with sourdough bread which was nice, pastrami had an indian spice element to it which seemed to work and there was plenty of it. We also had some fried zucchini fritters which came with a cardamon yoghurt (seem to like their indian spices here)

Unfortunately the main courses were very disappointing. The loin of lamb was quite tough and the half a (semi) roasted red onion and a few bits of potato that came with it were a poor accompaniment. The Sea Bass loins were a nice piece of fish, spoilt by a lack of seasoning and some very oily vegetables which came with it. I asked for a lemon to help add some flavour but my request did not bear any 'fruit'. This is a point I would make about the service, some of the waiters do not appear to speak much English (despite the number of US/UK customers) and they seem to ignore the obvious - topping up water/wine glasses, doing check-backs to ensure you are happy with your food, carrying out basic requests that you might have. For this they levy 10% on your bill...
We didn't bother with desserts as we were pretty uninspired by this point.
For the above plus a glass of wine and a bottle of mineral water it was 166 lira which didn't feel like great value for money.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank peach731
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

545 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    290
    167
    58
    21
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Pay a little more and enjoy excellence..”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We were most impressed with Lokanta Maya. We booked by email, arrived easily by taxi and had a wonderful meal. Good upmarket regional food and an excellent local wine accompanied by attentive service. The restaurant has more ambience that the website shows, and was full of local professional and family parties. Had a great buzz to it on a Monday night.
Made a change from kebabs and rice, and we didn't pay that much more for a first class meal.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Iain W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Need to book in advance.”
Reviewed April 5, 2013

quite recently opened and featured on Ottalenghi's mediterraen feast last year, this restaurant is doing very well. We managed to get a table on our last nice - Monday night, but every other table was taken - by 8.15pm the restaurant was packed. It has a lovely warm atmosphere and is located in the old town close to Karakoy pier, but it's not the sort of area that you are likely to be and would happen to notice this restaurant - so it's popular by reputation. The food was wonderful and reasonably priced for such a nice restaurant. Small dishes around TKL 18 and mains around TKL 30-50. As with everywhere in TK and the ME, wine is a bit pricey due to taxes. But the place is a great find and on my list of recommendations. I see it expanding but hope it retains is quality and atmosphere.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mandi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
115 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“CONTEMPORARY YET TRULY ISTANBUL - GO !!!”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I have just returned to my hotel from Lokanta Maya. Istanbul is a wonderland of savours, scents and succulence. After four or five days in this incredible metropolis a visitors respect for the wide variety of traditional cuisine prepared traditionally, though novel to our palate and delicious, can become a little stultifying and the expedition to find it exhausting.

This restaurant can come as a welcome relief of sophistication and certainly deserves its place high in the list of 'musts' in the city's eateries for its novel and light treatment of the Turkish cuisine's standards as well as its proposing flavours, otherwise traditional, in a more 'out of the box' form.

We were three to dine. The mezze were varied and delicious - the Kofte, Zuccini balls, salads and especially the ox liver with pickled onions stood out. The carmalised sea bass with pear and spinich main course was truly delicious. Deserts of super light orange panna cotta and lavender infused ice cream with thick halva wafers and home made fresh strawberry coulis were amazing. All was enjoyed with a super crisp and dancing local Sauvignon Blanc - really good, exciting even. The sole disappointment was the dish that read the most promisingly - grilled octopus with green lentil ragu - precisely prepared, it lacked character, seasoning, and sadly waned in comparison with the stellar quality of the other dishes brought to our table.

The room is contemporary and comfortable which means it could maybe exist elsewhere - it was what was on our plates that allowed us know that we could only be in Istanbul. I regret not purchasing the chef / owners's cook book. Go.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank aTRIPinTIME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Yummy!”
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We stopped in for lunch on a Monday (visiting from London) the atmosphere was lovely and relaxed, plenty of books to flick through on the shelves. The service was maybe a little slow, but we were there for a leisurely lunch, so didn't mind at all.

The food was very good. Everything we ordered was very tasty and satisfying. I had the zucchini fritters with cardamon mayo dip - yum, watercress soup - good, for main chicken breast with smoked rice and Tzatziki (can't remember what the Turks call it). Everything was delicious and I remember very good value for money also - wine was delish too!

Would recommend and will be returning on my next trip! :)

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LRB200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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