Located on popular Maunganui Road in the Mount, Zeytin Cafe and Eaterie will give you the impression that you have stepped into a fashionable Istanbul cafe.
Ulku and her husband Cuneyt - the proprietors and also your hosts - will greet you with a warm welcome and a smile while they escort you to a nice table in their establishment. Enjoy dining on their side-walk terrace or sit in the cosy and delightfully decorated interior.
Zeytin's terracotta textured walls are adorned with antiques, wrought iron pieces, mirrors and mysterious looking Turkish shutters. Nothing has been left to chance and the ambiance is world class. Indirect ceiling lights enhance key elements of the decoration adding to the warm glow. The total effect is stunning.
The café is well situated on Mt Maunganui Rd. It is across the main car park in the city centre and access is easily available.
The café has a very pleasant atmosphere and is very inviting. Wheelchair access could be a challenge as the path that leads from the front door to the counter, which is situated at the back of the café, is narrow, since the tables are packed close together.
We were greeted by friendly staff at the counter who seated us promptly. We were seated outside and she offered to turn the patio heater on. I would like to mention that it is essential to book as the café is very popular. We were fortunate that we could be seated with a table of five.
We ordered a variety of doner kebabs ranging from lamb to mixed meat. The café also offer pastas and pizzas at reasonable prices. The food was well prepared and the portion size was outstanding. The ingredients were fresh and the meals tasted great. The drinks that we ordered arrived promptly with friendly service.
The one aspect that let the café down was that you had to order from the counter and pay for what you had ordered immediately. This might work well during the day; however, it looked like it caused confusion for the customers and staff.
Clientele in evenings are different from those during the day. People want to relax and be looked after. It would have been nice to sit down and order. This would not only create better flow in the café itself as you do not have patrons going to the counter every ten minutes for another drink or another item of food. It also gives the café a better opportunity for more add-on sales.
The dinner was inexpensive and was good value for money. Over all I would rate the dining experience as good, and would recommend the café.
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