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“Excellent, fresh, and beautiful food.”
Review of Istanblu Ybor - CLOSED

Istanblu Ybor
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Turkish
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed December 4, 2013

We started with the cold appetizer plate which was like a painting, and consisted of four different spreads, each one uber fresh and delicious.
The grilled octopus appetizer was also delicious and not rubbery.
A chicken and eggplant entree was also attractive and toothsome.

The service was very attentive, with fresh breads and water being replenished regularly.

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Thank Buffalo650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (49)
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36 - 40 of 49 reviews

Reviewed December 2, 2013

Ate here today for the first time. We have never had Turkish food. Restaurant is large and very clean. Food took a while but that was because they made our meals fresh which made it worth the wait. Food looked and tasted very fresh. We had lentil soup, Mediterranean salad, and chicken kabobs. Also, tried Turkish coffee which was fantastic. The waitress was very nice and helpful. We will definitely be eating there again real soon.

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Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Overall
- I wish I could give them 4.5 stars as they were SO close to getting 5
- Would definitely return on a trip to Ybor City
- Great portions for great value (I had buffet the might before and felt I was fuller after eating here)
- Fresh ingredients
- Optional outdoor dining
- Belly dancer on some nights

A few of us decided to try this Turkish restaurant for something different. The three of us all had different meals and each one of us enjoyed ours thoroughly. Our server seemed new (and new to the area) and was a little inexperienced but I will not fault them for that because she was so very friendly, as all the staff genuinely cared for our comfort and enjoyment of the meal. Even the host/owner came and asked how everything was, which is a real plus.

We had a mix of lamb and beef, and the meats were cooked perfectly. I would definitely recommend the hummus appetizer...probably the best I have ever tried!

I could also see this place as a restaurant where people could be celebrating, or just going out for a casual meal. I'm favouring the latter option, and have rated it so. Also great for groups and probably families too, as it was spacious on the inside.

Could be improved:
1. We ordered a bottle of wine. Our server broke the cork, and when that was corrected, she poured without letting anyone taste the wine. Fortunately, it was fine with no reason to send it back. As well, she poured the glasses as if she was pouring beer, i.e., holding the glass on a tilt with the bottle as to not let any "foam" build up. It was obvious she was pouring "beer" style and not "wine" style.

2. She asked if we were ready to order and usually, the waiter/waitress will take orders and then collect the menus. She did this the other way around and a couple of us had to ask for them back since we didn't want to mis-pronounce anything.

Hopefully, these little errors will be corrected next time!

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Thank Carol8131111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

My husband and I wanted to try something new, so based on the reviews from tripadvisor we decided to try Istanblu. The food was amazing the owner was there and was very friendly the watress was very knowledgeable and friendly...will definetly go back!!! Nice little jem in Ybor!!

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Thank Mandashawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

This place is just waiting to be discovered. I work in the area and have walked by many times during lunch and decided that it was time to check out this place.

Although I did not look closely at the bill, until I got back to my office, and found that we were overcharged for what should have been two side items, I still have many great things to say.

I met two friends there. We ordered the Hummus to start. The Hummus was very good but the fresh bread they served with it was even better. Our lunches took a little time to come out, but once we got our food it was easy to understand why. The Lamb Shish was moist and succulent and the salads were portioned very well and dressed evenly with their olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon dressing (I asked that they leave the olive oil out but this was overlooked).

One of my friends ordered the Lamb Doner and if you like Gyros/Kebabs then you will be very satisfied with Istanblu's. Their cucumber sauce is very good.

Our server very nice and attentive. I will definitely go back.

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Thank tericks1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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