Restaurant review by Andy Probert
‘IT’S a franchise’. My initial thoughts as we walked into the spick and span David People, the newly opened coffeehouse-cum-dining experience on Ataturk Boulevard. Clean lines, clean tables, newly plumped seats and all waiting for new diners.
However, that thought of a franchise – all gleaming, characterless and anonymous – was certainly swept away over the course of the next two hours as the personal touch from the waiting staff to the chef delivered a very professional, charming front.
The only down side at the moment which may turn off some expats and tourists is that no alcohol is served. In fact a group of six holidaymakers making their way along Ataturk Boulevard briefly stopped and asked if Efes was served. When they told ‘no’ by the infectious smiling waitress, they gave their excuses and carried on.
All completely understandable if you would like beer or wine with your meal. And if you’re on holiday to unwind.
But having declared that minor negative, the rest is all positivity. We opted for a window seat with the option of people-watching or as the evening went on, discovering more about the backgrounds of our charming waiter.
Drinks came as a caramel coffee and a Fanta orange. The coffee was fantastic.
Our meals were beef kofte for Sylv and BBQ chicken for me. All served on a bed of a combo crushed aubergine and a special sauce, with asides including Brussels sprouts, green beans, a dash of chips, a green salad, rice, grilled onion and tomato.
We ate slowly, enjoying the ambiance and realising that the word ‘franchise’ became less and less of an issue. The food was great, the barbecued chicken tasted just as it said, while the beef koftes were among the best I have tasted here.
The rest of the dish was tasty, particularly the green veg. The rice was fluffy and light, just like it should be. I tasted a few chips, and they were pretty good as well, but were not needed given the main dish and the aubergine special underneath.
Presentation was again very clean, the cutlery was gleaming and the chef even popped over to see if everything was going ok. A nice touch in these parts.
The menu, itself, at David People is packed to the hilt with chicken dishes, grills, steaks, pasta, pizzas, snack food, breakfasts, burgers, toasties……You get the idea. Drinks range from a wonderful array of coffees, energy drinks, aromatic teas, milkshakes and more.
After a break and a further pleasant chat with our waiter, Tylan, who was from Izmir and studying marine navigation in Bulgaria we opted for a look at the desserts. All to die for and so I opted for caramel cake.
It came with a flourish and caramel dessert it was, with caramel sauce spelling it out on the plate. The cake was slightly heavy after such a big meal, but still delicious.
Chef Bilal was genuine, courteous and open to speaking to diners about the food. The kitchens are also open at the end of the restaurant. With 17 years’ experience, I am sure he will make a very good go of the new business.
David People is open from 9am to 2am and cater for all special events, such as birthdays, anniversaries and get togethers.
And at that, with a tip of the David People-branded hat worn by the staff, we were off into the night.
In conclusion, you can’t put a franchise on the delivery, the professionalism, the taste, cleanliness, ambiance and friendliness. There was nothing fake, here. That shone through with our experience.
And it’s more than just a snack and coffee bar which I thought it was. You can easily have a breakfast, lunch and evening meal there.
Food: 5 stars
Ambiance: 4 stars
Waiter service: 5 stars
Cleanliness: 5 stars (including gleaming loos)
Go back again: Yes