Review: Alla Turca, City Centre
What is it about going swimming that makes you hungry? I could eat a 3 course meal and still be starving after a few lengths at my local pool. And so it was that on a quiet Tuesday I found myself in Alla Turca on Pitt Street, post pool sesh with damp hair and a ravenous appetite. It was quiet for lunchtime (two other tables), however it was a Tuesday so we weren’t expecting it to be full to the rafters.
We were greeted and seated quickly by a friendly waitress and found bread, oil & olives being delivered to our table before we even had time to take our jackets off. Kudos. My friend and I both opted for the 2 course lunch special which seemed excellent value for money (£6.95). I opted for the roast vegetable couscous starter, my companion for the sesame falafel with houmous and we both went for the chicken shish served with bulgar rice and salad main course.
I won’t rave about my starter as it was just acceptable. One of those ones that did exactly what it said on the tin but wasn’t anything to write home about. The couscous had a decent bite to it and the tomato sauce was ok. Some might accuse it of being a little bland. I, on the other hand, could only admit that it was exactly what it said it would be on the menu. The sesame falafel though, was exceptional. Arriving hot from the fryer, the crisp outside gave way to a soft and spicy chickpea mix on the inside that was pure heaven on the taste buds. Served on a bed of tasty, runny, homemade houmous, it is one of the nicest Turkish starters I have tasted in a while.
The main courses arrived in good time and given the price, the portion sizes were plentiful. A skewer each of chicken breast, served with a tasty bulgar rice accompaniment, some roasted peppers, more salad and a side of sauce. Again, this was nothing to complain nor write home about either. I have eaten nicer kebabs where the marinade had more of a kick and you could really taste the spices from the chicken. However, what the chicken lacked in flavour it did make up for by being very well cooked. Very moist, perfectly tender and no gristle. As the tomato based sauce was again a little bland, I can only assume they use this as the base for a lot of the dishes (see my couscous starter). However the bulgar rice made a nice change to ordinary rice and worked perfectly with the rest of the dish.
All in all this was a reasonable meal and very good value for money. I might not rush back anytime soon but if money is low and you are on the look out for a quick and decent pre-theatre around the Sauchiehall St area then I wouldn’t knock this completely until you’ve tried it.
Just make sure you try the sesame falafel starter!