Cafe Karadeniz

Our rating 

User rating 

2 reviews
Venue Image
3 Park Road,
Grafton
Auckland,


(09) 307 3449

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byBrett Atkinson9/09/2007

4 out of 5 stars

Walk around any corner in Auckland, and you'll probably run into a kebab place, but finding a wider range of Turkish food is sometimes not easy. Cafe Karadeniz (it means "Black Sea") is tucked away at the end of Grafton Bridge near Auckland Hospital, and it's always surprised me how this excellent place never gets the attraction it deserves.

I've been lucky enough to travel to Istanbul several times, and trust me when I say that friendly owner Semih turns out some of the tastiest and most authentic Turkish food this side of a late afternoon sunset on the Bosphorus.

The Karadeniz formula is simple. A few vintage B/W photographs of old Istanbul decorate the cosy wooden interior, and more recent colour shots of Turkey's cobalt waters bring back memories of lazy days around the country's southern coast.

We start with a meze platter for two ($19.50), and as well as the expected range of dips like hummus and taramasalata, there's also goodies like mantar dolma (stuffed mushrooms) and sigara borek, long deep fried "cigars" made of filo pastry, feta cheese and pastry. The good value platter even includes tasty fasulye (tasty green beans) and zingy beetroot dip.

Conversation with Semih turns to the Turkish pop music on the stereo, and he takes our question if he knows of "Tarkan" (kind of like a Turkish George Michael), as a request. Very soon, one of least favourite Turkish memories is coursing through the restaurant, but it's actually a nice touch, adding another layer of authenticity to the meal.

In reality, the meze platter has almost filled us up, but that doesn't stop us from demolishing our mains. Carol's chicken moussaka ($16) - did I mention that Karadeniz also does a few Greek dishes and pizza - is rich and creamy, and mesclun salad and plain rice adds a simpler contrast. I partner a Turkish Efes Pilsner with an Iskender kebab ($15) laced with yoghurt and chilli sauce. A few local beers are also on offer, along with a small selection of wine and the convenience of a BYO licence.

The combination of meze and mains means we've definitely got no room for dessert, but past experience has always meant a tough decision between baklava and Semih's selection of freshly baked cakes.

I guess well-cooked and simple Turkish food just isn't trendy enough to merit more media attention, but in a perfect world Cafe Karadeniz would be a hidden favourite known and enjoyed by lots more Aucklanders.

Cafe Karadeniz has been reviewed by 2 users
 
Nearest

What's near Cafe Karadeniz?

Below are the nearest 5 venues within 500 metres of Cafe Karadeniz.
Cinemas near Cafe Karadeniz (0)

Most Read Today

image
01 Queen's Birthday Weekend 2015 - What's On

Our guide to what's on around Auckland this Queens...

image
02 FIFA Under 20 World Cup - Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton 2015

The world's best young footballers are headed for ...

image
03 Auckland's Best Free Kids Activities

We check out the best five free kids activities in...

image
04 Auckland's Best Outlet Shops

We check out the five best spots for outlet shoppi...

image
05 Auckland's Best Playgrounds

The kids have spoken and we are pleased to present...

Content updated: 28/05/2015 13:56
 

Restaurant Reviews

Get Onboard

Make It A Date

Connect

Latest Restaurants User Reviews

  • Best Ugly Newmarket
    What a great addition to Newmarket! Had my first experience of t...

    LisaS_LocalHero on 22/05/2015 @ 2:38 p.m.
  • New Flavour Restaurant
    Have been here 3 times since it moved next door/changed owners an...

    Sara222 on 21/05/2015 @ 5:29 p.m.
  • Burger Burger
    This place is teeny tiny and super busy. Service was good and if ...

    stephanieanna on 21/05/2015 @ 12:15 p.m.
  • The Fireplace
    The Fireplace is local to me and we only ended up going here beca...

    stephanieanna on 21/05/2015 @ 12:04 p.m.
  • El Humero
    El Humero is a carnivores heaven! Of all the new places in Takapu...

    goodtimeguy1 on 20/05/2015 @ 7:28 a.m.
Hitwise Award Winner