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“Excellent food and service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Istanbul Turkish Cuisine

Istanbul Turkish Cuisine
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Ranked #8 of 145 Restaurants in Lake Mary
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Kids, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: International Parkway Drive
Holmdel, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013

This is a great restaurant – one of the best I’ve been to (and my wife and I eat out often). We (my wife and I) were in Florida on a trip and were looking for a place that offered very good food without being formal and pricey. We read the reviews on a few sites and saw that they were highly positive so … we went to Istanbul and it exceeded our expectations. I’m writing this just after eating there, and I feel very good. I thought how some might not go to this place because of the thought that Turkish food is exotic and/or something that you don’t know if you’ll like or need to acquire a taste for. This is not the case – it’s things like lamb and chicken that are prepared and seasoned in a way that is delicious.

I ordered Special Beyti Kebab (lamb) and the lamb was moist and delicious. I usually don’t eat red cabbage or shredded carrots but here they’re not just some afterthought – very tasty. I was surprised that I like the cabbage so much. I ate it with pieces of my entrée and the combination was excellent. My wife ordered the Chicken Saute and really liked it. We also ordered ‘Lavas’ – Hollow bread – which is huge and somewhat like Indian Naan. It was very good.

The host, Musa Gulsoy, went to great lengths to make us feel welcome and worked with the waiter to provide what is now one of my top five service experiences. Musa explained that there may be an avoidance of lamb because of past experiences like mine where it was dry and/or had a smell that was somewhat off-putting. Their preparation is different and, despite my having not ordered lamb in a long time, I ordered it and it was great – not like the way I’ve had it in the past. Musa told us that his brother is the owner/chef who has a passion for what he does – preparing dishes with high-quality ingredients. It shows. Musa said that the weekend menu has lamb shanks that are slow-cooked over an 8-hour period and highly recommended coming in on the weekend to try it, saying that the lamb is very moist and delicious.

For dessert, we ordered the Baklava. Musa explained that it was made only 4 hours ago; it was delicious and very fresh. The waiter and Musa had recommended Kanefe for dessert, and next time we’re going to try that.

I wish this place were near where I lived in NJ. It’s just great food – the kind of place that you watch on one of the food network shows where the host looks for places where they offer freshly-prepared, high-quality food that tastes incredibly good.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank metazone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    96
    60
    9
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Heathrow
Level Contributor
193 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Best mideast Restaurant in Central Florida”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

There have been many restaurants at this location that have failed but I know this one will make it.
The décor is comfortable, the wait staff is polite and efficient and the food is fantastic. We started with an eggplant appetizer(not babaganous) that was wonderful especially with the hot, puffy lavash bread that was the best we've had since we visited Turkey.
My lamb shanks were delicious, plump and perfectly prepared with very little fat.
My wife's vegetable stew was bursting with flavor from all the wonderful herbs and spices used and the sauce was fantastic.
The lamb shanks were the special for the day and when the bill came it was $5.00 more than he quoted. When I brought the matter up, he apologized and said he mistakenly told me the lunch price and asked if I was Ok with the new price. I felt it was an honest mistake and since the food was so good and the portion so large, I accepted the higher price.
One of the owners stopped by our table and we had a great conversation.
We had no room for dessert but they sure looked good.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Martin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I thought I was in Turkey it was so good!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

Wonderful food, service and atmosphere. The food was authentic as I forgot I was in America. Top notch service and the most tasty food I have enjoyed in a long time. I am very happy with my decision to go. Also, a beautiful bar that had great varieties.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Shaw31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very good!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

This was our first time eating Turkish food. We both enjoyed everything. A tad pricey but the food was very tasty. We will go back!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jennyso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
152 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Darn good Turkish Food is hard to find”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

After traveling to Turkey several years ago, I discovered I love Turkish cuisine. With a Turkish daughter-in-law, I have had the pleasure of some home Turkish cooking as well. While traveling, I was happy to discover a Turkish restaurant near the Marriott in Lake Mary, Florida. The restaurant is nicely appointed (I loved the chandeliers) and was such a great find. This independent place was in between all the chain restaurants. The service was exceptional and the staff wanted to please at every turn. The food was absolutely delicious! This authentic Turkish restaurant is a wonderful find for anyone who likes something different.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Kim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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