I recently went to Alasya Turkish Restaurant. Each time I go there it reminds me of why I keep heading over for the long trip to Sydney Rd, Brunswick. The outside is unprepossessing, looking like a simple kebab shop and the inside, the wooden panelled walls do not scream any particular ambience, except that this restaurant was probably started in the 1970s and hasn't changed a single thing.
However I don't go to Alasya for the appearance of the room that I am eating in. Instead I go there, as do many of the people who go there – for the food. The breads in particular are fantastic, probably because of the onsite bakery, where they make all the bread fresh. It also means it comes out nice and warm and fresh tasting.
Every time I dine here, I look through the menu and then go straight back to the first page and decide on one of the Banquet meals. I can never just pick one item to try and instead prefer to try them all. Thankfully I always have someone else with me to eat, because unfortunately the banquets require two people to eat. The great thing is that they also have vegetarian options for some of the Banquets, which allows you to eat with your vegetarian friends/relatives without always having to eat the vegetarian options yourself. A couple of times I have been there, they have been good and don't mind if one out of the two people having a banquet orders the vegetarian option and the other orders the meat option.
The Banquet meals are excellent value and range from about $20 to $30 per person depending on which Banquet ordered. All of them start with a small range of dips and of course their fresh bread made on the premises. They also have a range of other starter items including often a bean and tomato dish, a rice dish, a salad of the Greek style, a bean salad and a Russian salad which has a lot of mayonnaise in it. These are all quite nice to try but you need to be careful not to fill up on these and then leave no room for the meat.
I find the only problem is that they tend to serve the meat after the dips and salads. I would rather have some salads at the same time, but I have noticed that this seems to happen at a lot of Turkish and Greek restaurants, so it is probably relating to some custom I have never heard of before. The meats are all great crunchy kebab style meats, most are obviously shaved off the spit while others have been barbecued. The range depends on which banquet you get. But each one tastes delicious. I have got to stop thinking of it now or I will want to go back today.
Usually unless you get the mini-Banquet you will also get a hot drink and some desserts. This is a nice end to the meal, so make sure you leave room for it. This normally means a selection of Baklava style dishes and a piece of Turkish Delight. My favourite is the Spearmint Turkish Delight, one of my friends thinks it tastes like toothpaste but I like the after mint freshness feel at the end of a meal.
With this restaurant, it is good to get in there early if you want to get decent service, because the problem is that if you wait until 7pm or 8pm it gets really busy and it is hard to get the waitresses attention. It is also usually better on a weekday than a week night. Luckily on Thursday I decided to eat around 5.30pm and so we got good service and there weren't too many other people there.