Imported from the hilltops of the Turkish country side, this family owned restaurant brings authentic Turkish cuisine to Central Florida.
Our foodie adventure to this restaurant began with a fundraising soccer tournament called Goals for Yemen. After the fun and games we decided to go for dinner. Being on the East side of the Orlando, there were several options including The Halal Guys, Tenders UCF, Alex’s Phillysteak and Gyro. However, with my in-laws in tow, we were looking for something more formal that the typical Halal Fast food options. We settled on Cappadocia as it wasn’t too far from us.
Located off Semoran Blvd (SR 436), it’s not too far from the Orlando International Airport and the toll highway 408, making it easy to navigate too. While there is a large sign outside the restaurant it is easy to miss as it is not well lit. There is parking directly in front of the restaurant, but it is difficult to pull into as you have to really slow down on a busy, high speed street. Not to mention when it’s time to leave you have to back up directly on to the main road which can be a little dangerous if you are not careful to make sure there is no oncoming traffic. There is parking behind the restaurant too, but the entry way is rather narrow and easy to miss if you are not familiar with the area.
The outside of the building is not very distinctive, but when you walk in through the main entrance you are transported to a land far away. The dim lighting forces you to adjust to the new surroundings drawing your attention to the various pictures and artifacts displayed throughout the dining space. I also appreciated that the dining area was divided into two smaller spaces by an archway to create a more intimate dining experience.
My in-laws enjoyed the large round dining booth in the corner as it afforded some privacy and allowed the grandchildren to sit directly next to them. The kids eventually realized the booth seats had springs in them and doubled as a trampoline. At that point they became OUR kids again to control.
Thankfully the service was fast and attentive so the kids didn’t have too much time to misbehave. We were seated at our table quickly and given a few minutes to review the menu. Our order was taken by the owner herself. She was very welcoming.
Since food is prepared fresh, it does take some time to come out, but the wait wasn’t unreasonable. It did give time for the kids to figure out they could crawl under the table and escape to their freedom from the corner booth.
Mercifully, the food came out shortly after and the kids began to sit as they were hungry too. The first dish to come was the lamb chops, decoratively placed on the plate with rice, salad and pickled red beets. They were juicy and tender.
The mixed grill platter came next shortly after. It was served on a large oval plate over a bed of rice, salad, grilled vegetables covered with grilled meats. There were thin slices of gyro which were clearly freshly made and had a distinct spicy flavor to them, characteristic of Turkish cuisine. Alongside the gyro were skewers of beef kabob, grilled chicken and grilled beef cubes. All the meats were cooked perfectly. This was by far everyone’s favorite dish and was quickly finished.
Although dessert was an option, we had no more room for it and will save it for next time, Inshallah.
At the end of the meal, after everyone had eaten to their hearts desire, came the bill. Considering the amount of food we had order (and finished) the bill was reasonable. The main entrée dishes vary on the menu between 14 and 25 USD. The calm and dim atmosphere made for a perfect setting to focus and enjoy the food adding to the value of the dine-in experience.
This family owned Halal Turkish restaurant has been around for almost a decade. They focus on quality fresh foods to delight customers from near and far alike. The restaurant is decorated and adorned with photos, paintings and artifacts to bring you to the foothills of the Cappadocia region of Turkey enhancing the dining experience. I would judge this restaurant to be on the more formal dining spectrum more suited for special occasion (like Eid and Valentine’s Day) rather than the day to day fast casual restaurants. Note that it is better to call ahead to make a reservation as the owners appreciate that more than walk-ins. Furthermore, be careful when parking and pay attention to your surroundings when leaving as you are pulling on to a high speed, heavily trafficked road.
Food Category: Turkish Cuisine
Guru’s Rapid Review: 4 of 5 Stars
Must Try: Gyro meat, lamb chops
Address: 565 N Semoran Blvd, Azalea Park, FL 32807
Phone: (407) 985-2668