Anatolia’s Gate Turkish Restaurant on Kingsway and Griffith, Burnaby

Suanne and I was thinking of going to Turkey and Greece for our gastronomic-slash-cultural vacation this year. It will be an easy thing to do for Suanne and I because it is just $500 for airfare and 3 nights free accommodation. That’s a great thing about working in my company because we get all these inter-line arrangements. The only issue is that the flight is on standby basis. It is easier to deal with, with just two people but with four people it is trickier … a lot more trickier. We’ll see how things go too because the boys summer plans are still not firmed yet.

So I had been talking a lot to Sena at the office. She is Turkish and I was so interested in learning more about Turkish culture and food in anticipation of the trip. I told her about this Turkish restaurant near the office that I wanted to visit. She was surprised because she had not heard of it before. I told her to get some people together for a Friday lunch. She did … 20 people! I was thinking of just 4 or 5.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-1-600x400

So we all drove over to Anatolia’s Gate. It is too far to walk from where our office is in the Metrotown area. Anatolia’s Gate is located across the street, kitty corner from the Middlegate Shopping Center (Google Map here). There are available street parking on Kingsway or the side road, so that was not an issue despite us driving there in a number of cars.

The name Anatolia invokes a lot of thoughts of Turkish history. The name Anatolia is another name for Asia minor and refers to that historical region in Turkey that used to be home of many many civilizations which includes Greek, Armenian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. I love history and look forward to going to this part of the world to see first hand for myself.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-2-600x400

Anatolia’s Gate has an open gas oven. You would not miss it because it is right in front of you as you step into the front door. According to Sena, this is all essential if they want to do Turkish dishes right.

The ovens are used to make the excellent Turkish flat bread pizza (called Lahmacun)  and Pide. They also use this to make Lavash.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-3-600x400

The interior is quite basic with well arranged tables. This allows them to easily arrange the tables for bigger parties like ours.

While Anatolia’s Gate is spacious, they recommend reservations because they do have big parties coming in every now and then.

Anatolias-Gate-Menu-1Anatolias-Gate-Menu-2Anatolias-Gate-Menu-3Anatolias-Gate-Menu-4Anatolias-Gate-Menu-5

The menu is all foreign to all of us. We surrendered ourselves to the advice of Sena. You know how some of us decide what to get? We just have to point to an item on the picture menu and ask her about it … and she will go “Oh … wow” and raise her eyebrows before excitedly explaining it to us. I don’t have to even listen to her description … just judging by how long she drags out her “wow” and how high her eyebrows were raised is enough indication on what to get.

I just love having an expert telling me more about the food. I always find that the more I know of the food and the culture the more I appreciate it. That’s me — food is  not just something I enjoy but also the learning.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-30-400x600

Actually I was already dead set on getting “The Works” (my term). See above.

I almost did not pull this off because not many people wanted to eat so much. Moreover, at $21.50, it is understandably too expensive to spend on lunch. At the end, we got the minimum four to go for this.

This was gonna be a feast … and we regretted getting this.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-31-400x600

So anyway, I decided to get this thing. This is called Ayran which is made of yogurt and water and costs about $2-$3.

It tastes like the Indian Lasi (spelling?) to me and really thought it’s the same thing. Sena said that it is very Turkish. In Turkey apparently. they like to have this made bubbly, more bubbly than the one you see above.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-4-600x400

Our $21 per head platter includes the appetizers above. They are cold appetizers (called meze) and are mainly used as a spread on bread.

Our favourite was the red one at the top left corner. It is called ezme and has a more stronger flavour because of the spice chili used.

The dolma (top right) is stuffed grape-leaf. It is very popular around the region from Iran to eastern Europe to south Asia but this originates from Turkey.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-5-600x400

The above is some yogurt with herbs. I am not sure what this is called — just yogurt? Anyway, this is meant to go with Iskender kebab.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-6-600x400

Everyone gets the Lavash. This is interesting. It is bread all puffed up cooked on the open oven. A stab at the Lavash releases steam.

Sena said that the Lavash is not Turkish. It is Arabic but Anatolia made it because they had the oven necessary to make this.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-7-600x400

The Lavash and the Meze’s goes very well together. Everyone enjoyed this particularly when the Lavash is still hot. I could eat this entirely as a meal.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-8-600x400

This is it … the $21 per head Padishah’s Platter. It came in an delightfully huge platter with food piled high. Of course the four of us snickered at the others that we had all this food … but we also know that … there is no way in hell we could ever finish this between the four of us. The meze and lavash we had as appetizers were not exactly light.

See that sausage like thingy in the middle. That is called the Adana Kebab. This is named Adana from the city where it is famous for and uses a unique kind of chili spice native to that area.

To Sena, Anatolia is very authentic Turkish although she also said that it is not exactly the same as one would get in Turkey. It is very close and certainly the best Turkish meal she had in Metro Vancouver.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-9-600x400

Like I said, it is a delightful platter which has something that everyone likes. I especially likes the freshly cut onions, herbs and stuff which is nicely balanced with baked items and kebabs.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-10-600x400

The above is the Turkish version of the pizza.  It is called Lahmacun.

It came in smaller pieces and is thin. It has a little bit of minced meat on it. The color and the taste came from the spices and tomatoes used. Very tasty and certainly a lot more healthier than the type of pizzas we were used to.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-12-600x400

Pide is another version of Turkish pizza. The difference is that it is folded with an opening in the middle before it is baked. The yellow filling is cheese but the common filling is beef. According to Sena this is most famous in the Black Sea Area.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-13-600x400

Not forgetting the kebobs … lamb, chicken, beef. This is all good but compared to the rest this looked so common.

I wished they had served this with the skewers on so that it is a distinct item on the platter.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-32-400x600

When the owner placed the platter on the table, he pointed to the chili and said “Be careful. Dangerous”.

Oh yeah right. I can handle that. I grew up eating this sort of things.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-11-600x400

It is lethal. It brought tears to my eyes instantly. It is the seeds. Take the seeds away, it is not nearly as hot to me but with the seeds, it has kick.

Nice!

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-33-400x600

I don’t really recall what this is but do think it is called Guvec — vegetables and mushrooms.

I find Turkish food quite healthy except that they serve a lot of food.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-14-600x400

Baklava was served as a dessert. It is very good and very sweet. It is the honey and nuts that defines the taste.

While Baklava is common to many cuisines around the region, it is believed that Turkey is where it originates from.

Anatolias-Gate-Burnaby-35-400x600

At the end, it was too much food for the four of us. We even passed our food to the other people and still we were left with the above.

So we asked for containers to take away. When we got back to the office, we left it at the kitchen and before we know it, it was all gone.

I highly recommend you gather a few people to try this feast. It is a unique and fun experience. You can order the minimum four person order and then share it with six people. Even that, it is going to be quite a heavy meal.

Anatolia's Gate on Urbanspoon

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. I love Anatolia’s Gate. One of the GVA’s true gems.

    1. Hi fmed:
      There is simply nothing on the menu that I don’t like. I wish it is closer to my office or I would have eaten them more often.
      Ben

  2. wow, i want all that food! everything looks so good. i think maybe the yogurt thing is raita? that’s indian though, i’m not sure. i lovelovelove babbagannush. i would go there just for that. mmm

  3. We have been to Anatolia’s Gate once. Love the lavash… Actually, anything baked in that oven is great: the pideh, the lahmacun. (But, ooh, that lavash!)

    JS and I and our cousins were actually planning to go to Turkey last summer, but it didn’t work out. But, I think we have our hearts set on it, so we may go this coming summer!

    1. Oh good! If all goes well, maybe we will meet in Istanbul and have seafood in their historic restaurants. Yeah?

  4. A bit of a backgrounder – the owners of Anatolia’s Gate used to run a Turkish restaurant in NYC. (I think it is still being run by one of their relatives).

    My one single favorite dish there is the very simple sounding Eggplant Salad – which is very much like the babaganoush. So simple, yet so delicious…with a lavash of course.

    1. [sitting here shaking my head and thinking … “is there anything that he does not know? he is simply the #1 foodie in vancouver … bar none …”]

      1. Thanks for the high praise Ben, but honestly (and not to turn this into a mutual admiration club), I cannot hold a candle to your’s and Suanne’s gastronautical adventures.

  5. You’re lucky you had some personal connections to give you advice – my times there I’ve relied solely on the thoughts of the proprietors for making my eating decisions. 🙂

  6. Turks claim they’ve invented a bunch of stuff that are common in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Who invented what is debatable…I am sure there was a lot of mutual influencing from centuries of mingling. A lot of food that Turks claim as their own (moussaka, baklava,dolma, etc) have origins in ancient Greece.
    This does not take away any of the deliciousness of turkish food but just saying that it’s not so clear cut as Turks like to think.

    1. It’s easy to think that, I guess, since the words dolmades, moussaka, and baklava all have Arabic or Turkic etymological roots (not Greek). Many of these words entered the Greek language during the Ottoman times.

  7. The names may have changed but the roots of these foods were from Greece and the Byzantium.

  8. If you didn’t like the yogurt drink and go again, try the sour cherry juice. Really tasty and goes well with the food. It comes in a largish bottle so is more than enough for 3 people.

    My favourite things here are the cheese pide, the lavash (I prefer the white flour version) and the yogurt dip which is just addictive. I only wish it were closer to Kits :-).

Leave a Reply

Close Menu