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The following article is by John Howarth of the Nottingham Topper and was published in September 2007
WHY not sample the delights of Turkey this Christmas - by dining at popular eatery, The Antalya Restaurant.
Established and located in the heart of Nottingham for over 25 years, The Antalya Restaurant is owned and run by Mehmet Kolcak. A focal point for lovers of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine, it's an ideal venue for your Christmas meal or special night out this Yuletide.
Turkish cookery can truly be described as an art. Many recipes have been passed from generation to generation throughout centuries and under the influence of many cultures. During the reign of Sultan Süleyman, (16th century), in the palace kitchens, more than 150 recipes were known purely for aubergine dishes! All dishes are made according to tradition using only the finest available ingredients to give the true taste and flavour to our selections.
Now, it is time to start sharing with your friends the enjoyment of the art of Turkish cuisine. The festive menu (including Christmas Crackers) features lunch and evening meals and ranges from £12.50 to £18.50 in the run-up to Christmas.
There's a whole host of starters, main courses and desserts to choose from. Main dishes feature Mixed Kebabs; Lamb Shish Kebab; Chicken Kebab; Güveç; Musakka; the Antalya Special (a large knuckle of lamb on the bone, cooked with special sauce and vegetables, served with rice & potatoes); Steak Antalya; Salmon Buglama; (Vegetarian Musakka and Vegetable Casserole. The Christmas Day lunch menu is £32.50 for adults and £18.50 for children. Choose from Traditional Roast Turkey; Antalya Special (a large knuckle of lamb on the bone, cooked with special sauce and vegetables, served with rice & potatoes); Mixed Kebabs; Chicken Kebab; Lamb Shish Kebab; Et Sauté (lean cubes of lamb cooked with mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, covered with creamed garlic sauce served with rice); Chicken Sauté (cubes of chicken cooked with mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, topped with creamed garlic sauce served with rice); Halibut Steak or Charbroiled Salmon; Vegetarian Musakka; Vegetable Güveç (seasonal fresh vegetables cooked in a clay dish served with rice) and Stuffed Green Peppers.
There's a great selection from the dessert trolley, fresh fruit, coffee or apple tea, as well as Turkish delight and Turkish liqueurs. We put the restaurant to the test with a delicious evening meal for two. A Topper spokesman said:? "It was absolutely delicious food, cooked to the very highest of standards.
"The service was unrivalled too; we felt very relaxed, were waited on extremely well and enjoyed savouring the excellent atmopshere in pleasant surroundings.
"I shall be recommending this place to my friends - and visiting again!"
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Around 40 people attended the international party “Cultural Exchanges” that was a celebration of cultures at Antalya Restaurant on Sunday 19th August.
Nine international volunteers prepared dishes typical of their countries for guests to experience.
“This was an excellent evening and a great idea for an event.” Guest John Dell learned something valuable “I got talking to Osama from Libya and found out that it was not the done thing to greet him with a hand shake. To us this is such a normal everyday greeting and something we would not have thought could be offensive in another culture.”
Quizzes tested guest’s knowledge on countries flags and what emergency items flood victims would urgently need in a disaster. Free tickets to Jongleurs comedy club, the Broadway Cinema, dinner for two at Antalya, book tokens and bottles of wine were all up for grabs as prizes.
Sophie Trolliet, a French work placement student with the Red Cross in Nottingham, organised this event to highlight the work of the Red Cross and to bring different cultures together. “This is the first time I have ever organised an event and was a bit scared that no one would come. I think it is so important for foreign students to have the opportunity to meet up and get to know people, it helps them not to feel so isolated.”
Gubby Manku, Message and Tracing Manager at the Red Cross, demonstrated Bangra Dancing from India and got guests to join in. “It’s easy and lots of fun, in fact it’s a really good workout.”
Pam Burrows, life coach trainer. “What a fabulous and fun filled night, Sophie! I could tell you had worked hard, and it was all worth it, well done! We really enjoyed it all, the food, the quizzes and the dancing - what a night!
Twenty five year old Sophie was delighted with the outcome of the event that raised £210.00 for the Red Cross. “The standard of food from the Volunteers was amazing.”
Viv Tregidga, Senior Fundraiser for the Red Cross in Nottingham, “Sophie has been working with me for just over 2 months and I was delighted when she came to me with this idea. It’s maybe something we could develop into a larger event.”
The following extract published in the letters page of the Nottingham Evening Post on 16th July 2003
“As a Nottingham born & bred, it is a little unnerving to come across change in the city. So it was with some concern that I witnessed the move of the splendid Evening Post building from beside the Theatre Royal and it was with increasing trepidation that I watched the leisure complex rise, phoenix like, on the site.
I have grown accustomed to the development now. I have enjoyed visits to the cinema. I have sampled the variety of foods and drinks available in the complex. Within the dynamic city centre this development has found its place.
However, it is comforting to find that all has not gone. Nestling, at the side of this modern complex on Forman Street is located one of the best restaurants in the city, an eating house of long standing. The Antalya Restaurant, refurbished in traditional Turkish style, still provides a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere. Above all else, you are guaranteed fresh food, freshly prepared, cooked and served in relaxed surroundings. Whether it is a pre-concert meal, a late supper, or a large function, Mehmet and the staff of Antlaya are always pleased to be of service.
Good memories are still alive.”
Jon Petchell Nottingham.

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