New Kapadokia: Reviews

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Lentil Soup with MintKofte KebabKebab Combo
Lentil Soup with Mint; Köfte Kebab: succulent beef patties seasoned with turkish spices flame-broiled and served with rice; Kebab Combo: grilled lamb, chicken breast, lamb chop, and köfte kebab


Mark Duncanson
Name: Mark
Occupation: Youth Worker
Location: Livermore
Favorite Restaurant: New Kapadokia
Reviewed New Kapadokia: Saturday February 9, 2008

After years of literally dreaming of recreating the Turkish culinary experience I had grown to love, having lived in Turkey for two years, my wife and I accidentally happened upon New Kapadokia two years ago on our way home from an art show. Just the name, New Kapadokia, shot me right back to my early teenage years, trekking through Kapadokia during a week-long Thanksgiving bus trip. I will spare you the details of that trip and encourage you to read the brief, yet extremely accurate description of the Kapadokia region of Turkey which can be found in their menu and on their website, but needless to say, the trip was fantastic.

The atmosphere of New Kapadokia is simple, casual, and intimate. Everything from the glass cases filled with various copper effects and hookahs, to the decorative plates on the walls screamed, “Turkey!” There is nothing pretentious or stuffy about this place, they want you to come as you are and bring the whole family. This is my kind of place! When my wife and I arrived, New Kapadokia was hoppin’ with a diverse and friendly crowd of smiling and laughing faces, including the staff.

Mmm, my sense of smell kicked in, and I couldn’t wait to get another taste of that Turkish cuisine. Frankly, I already new what I wanted, I didn’t need to look at the menu. If this was any kind of self respecting Turkish establishment, they would have my favorite Turkish dish, Köfte Kebab, simple miniature beef patties seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, parsley, and, I am convinced, a bit of lemon that gives it a pleasantly distinct tart flavor. Guess what — they had it, and it was good and “flamed broiled to perfection”! I started out the evening with Sigara Böregi, yep as in “it looks like a cigar,” but it’s basically (for lack of a better description) a Turkish spring roll filled with feta cheese and potato, wrapped in filo dough. I then polished off a true Turkish Salad, made with cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, and their delicious lemon and olive oil vinaigrette on small bed of romaine lettuce; it was almost enough to make me give up meat (almost). Everything was fantastic. But then there was that issue of dessert. Again, I knew what I wanted (baklava), but I just had to see the selection, so our server brought the platter filled with a variety of desserts mostly in the filo dough genre. I just kept staring at the baklava, pointed at it and told him, “That’s the one.” As we waited for our dessert, we were entertained by the Turkish tea, as small glasses of tea were swung 360° around on a metal plate hanging from small metal chains by servers; I haven’t seen them spill a drop yet. Oh, and it should be of no surprise that the baklava was fantastic.

That’s it; I was full, happy and ready to do it again. The portions were generous enough for a man of my generous proportions. I ended up taking some of my main dish home, in fact. When asked about ingredients and preparation, the serving staff was very knowledgeable and seemed excited to share the information. The price of the dishes was extremely respectful to mine and my wife’s wallets being those of a youth worker and teacher. I would and have recommended this restaurant to family and friends, and will continue to do so. If you are looking on taking a trip to Turkey, but don’t want to bother with the long flights, New Kapadokia in Redwood City will get you there way quicker and with way less jetlag.


Modesto Tamez
Name: Modesto
Occupation: Exploratorium Teacher-in-Residence
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Aperto
Reviewed New Kapadokia: Saturday February 2, 2008

The restaurant was a delightful and friendly place with tasty food. This was a family run restaurant where the waitstaff worked very hard to make you feel part of their family and it succeeded. Turkish hospitality prevailed. The restaurant was small, but you did not feel cramped. In contrasts to too many new San Francisco restaurants, the sound level was great. Just enough ambient noise to give you a sense of community, but the level always permitted unstrained conversation.

The walls had art works and photographs from Turkey, and the dishes where not your ubiquitous white porcelain plates. The plates, cups, glasses, and even the beer mugs (copper), were not of this culture. You did get the feeling that you were no longer in the Bay Area.

The food, also, was not your average Mediterranean food. We frequent many Turkish restaurants in the Bay Area, and this had items on the menu we had never seen before. First we ordered our drinks, Turkish tea for my wife and Turkish beer for me. The tea was brought out by our very nice waitress. The tea was suspended on a platter held by three chords. Being a science teacher, I told the waitress that she could do a great centrifugal force experiment with her tray. She then proceeded to twirl the tray with drink on top completely upside down. She had obviously done her physics homework. Very entertaining! My beer in the copper mug was very good. I think it was a Pilsner.

The appetizers were displayed on a large platter by another waitress, a friend of the family who was helping out that evening. We chose a spread made up of many spices, tomatoes, and green peppers. This paste was then spread on this wonderful Turkish leavened bread. Next, the best lentil soup I have ever had was served. It was extremely spicy, which was a pleasant surprise. My wife had a vegetable lamb stew called sebzeli guvec, amazing! My dish was adana kebab, a spicy beef kabob on delicious rice pilaf. My dish was very good, my wife’s dish was exceptional! For dessert we had baklava. Yummy!

We really liked the restaurant, and if it was closer, we would definitely go more often. My only problem is that compared to most Turkish restaurants we have gone to in the Bay Area, it is a little pricier. Having said this, after leaving the restaurant, we wanted to book a flight for Turkey.


Rachel Cary
Name: Rachel
Occupation: Art Director
Location: Oakland
Favorite Restaurant: Masa’s
Reviewed New Kapadokia: Tuesday February 19, 2008

New Kapadokia is a Bay Area gem that is not to be missed. We really enjoyed our meal here.

We stopped in without reservations on a Tuesday night at about 7pm. We were warmly greeted by the owner, who seated us promptly. I could tell right away that it was a family-run business. The owner and his family were speaking Turkish in the back. The room was decorated with traditional Turkish decor (lots of “evil eyes”) and photographs of Turkey. The walls had a lovely warm yellow on them; overall the feeling when you walk in is very nice.

Our meal was excellent. I had no idea Turkish food was this good. I overheard the owner explaining to another guest that Turkish food is considered to be among the best of all the cuisines in the world, and I think he could be right.

We started with appetizers, which were brought out on a tray for us to choose from. There was a wide assortment (about 10-12 different dishes ranging from hummus and baba ghanoush to eggplant or pepper salads, meat patties, dolmas and more). I expected the appetizers to have a “Greek” taste, as many of the ingredients/dishes were similar. But it was nothing like Greek food. We chose the Cevizli Ezme, which is a paste of walnuts, Turkish red pepper paste, and tomato paste mixed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and cumin. We ate this on the Turkish bread they served, and it was outstanding. A bit spicy and the flavor combinations were yummy!

From that we moved on to Lentil Soup and Turkish Salad. The soup was fantastic, wonderful flavors, including mint, that blended perfectly. The Turkish Salad was a chopped salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and spices. The vinaigrette dressing on it was particularly good, not at all heavy. I’m asking for the recipe when I go back.

For our main course, we both chose kebobs, which were mostly lamb. Mine had a lamb chop, some chicken, and meat patties as well. From the first bite, I thought, “whoever made this knows their way around a piece of meat,” especially the lamb chop. All were perfectly cooked and seasoned, very tender and succulent. The vegetables and rice that accompanied both had great flavor, and were just right in terms of preparation. I’ve had so many overcooked, bland vegetables dishes in restaurants, it’s nice to see someone getting it right. Also, I appreciated a healthy balance of ingredients in our meal.

Our waiter — who had a nice way about him and was as friendly as the owner (his father?) — suggested a red Turkish wine, saying, “You’ll like it,” with a wink. We did, it was a very smooth red that went very well with the meal. Next time I’ll order a second glass.

For dessert, the owner’s wife brought over a tray of desserts to choose from… we chose Baklava, which was excellent. Next time we’ll be a little more adventurous as the other desserts looked just as good.

I finished the meal with a mint tea which was simply a few strands of bright green, fresh mint leaves in boiling water, served in a tiny clear glass on a saucer. It was dainty, and so fresh and really nice way to finish such a great meal. Be sure to get a coffee or tea, if you go…but find out why they twirl it around on the serving tray. I forgot to ask, and now I’m wondering!

I often expect meals at “ethnic” restaurants to be heavy and greasy. Along with the fact that this is really, really delicious food, I want to complement the chef for the healthy preparation. Our steamed vegetables were delicious, and all of the meat was perfectly cooked.

I had the impression that the owner is very proud of his Turkish heritage, and that is wonderful to see. I overhead him explaining the history of the region of Kapadokia in Turkey, the history of Turkish cuisine to another guest. You had the impression that he wanted to share this with his guests, and that just adds to the overall loveliness of the restaurant.

The restaurant is in downtown Redwood City, and I had no idea that the area was as cute as it is. The San Mateo County Courthouse is a beautiful structure, and there is a lot of other interesting historic architecture such as the Fox Theatre. It was too dark, rainy and late to walk around, but we both will come back for another delicious meal, and to tour the area. This would be a great location for a summer date/getaway, and we’re looking forward to coming back when the weather is nice enough to visit the area a bit on foot.

Overall, I highly recommend giving New Kapadokia a try; I think most people will not be disappointed.

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  • Alexa

    The restaurant lived up to the reviews. My friend and I ate lunch there today and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The place was quite busy and per the owner, has been swamped since it aired on Check, Please Bay Area last week.

    We started our meal with the fabulous lentil soup and the Turkish salad. The lentil soup is so good that it is worth going there just to eat the soup. I had the Et Kavurma (braised beef with dill) which was served with rice pilaf and yogurt. The flavors were fresh and just spicy enough. I have a gluten allergy and the staff was very helpful when it came to ordering an entree . My friend wanted Shish Kebab (lamb kebabs) which were not on the lunch menu but they were happy to prepare them for her anyhow.

    We enjoyed endless cups of tasty, hot Turkish tea since it was a cool, blustery day. It is served in small Turkish glasses and presented on swinging brass tray. Our meal included very tasty Baklava which I could not eat but my friend said was delicious even though she normally hates it. The service was very attentive and friendly. We will be back.

  • Joseph L. Costello

    A huge disappointment. We saw the show on Friday evening, and drove over from Los Altos for Sunday dinner. Although very crowded, we were soon accommodated by a gracious owner. Unfortunately, the food was quite bland without a hint of Mediterranean flavor. I ordered the lamb casserole and my wife the vegetarian eggplant. Perhaps they were simply overwhelmed by sudden celebrity. Give them a couple of weeks to sort it out.

  • Christopher & Beth

    We enjoyed both the casual, but festive, atmosphere and the friendly (and helpful!) staff. The food was really enjoyable and authentic. We started with lentil soup (to die for) and some “Turkish Cigars,” which were phyllo dough stuffed with feta cheese and potatoes.

    The Turkish salad was very fresh, the spicy beef kebabs in yoghurt were quite flavorful, and the mint tea served with a flourish. We also noted the place is very vegetarian friendly. All in all, highest marks, and worth many return visits.

  • Rosemary Degowin

    The food was not as flavorful as we thought it was going to be. It took awhile before we got served. We were disappointed with each of our meals. The lamb casserole was watery, the braised beef looked like small slices of beef, the most expensive dish was on the dry side and needed some sauce. My husband had to keep flagging down the staff for more bread, water, sauce, etc. Nice atmosphere, friendly people, fair price……expected more umph in the food.

  • Joyce

    I’ll be back, but the lentil soup was very disappointing – too hot spicy, but bland! there were a few other things that I could have used a warning for their hot peppery-ness.
    We had 3 appetizers, that were just okay, my lamb casserole was the best of our choices. I liked the lamb riblets, but he hated them!
    They served an excellent yogurt when I asked for some – I could have made a meal out of it, it was luscious.
    None of us liked the Turkish coffee, and I used to love it -

  • Martin Pollard

    We ate at New Kapadokia last night and . . . Wow . . . what a delightful food experience. The reviews on the show were right on. We were greeted by the owner. The wait staff were great. And the food, from appetizers to desert, was a new discovery of wonderful surprising flavors. We drove an hour to get there and we definitely will go back.

  • Adrienne

    I finally had a chance to try New Kapadokia last night and have to say that I was thoroughly underwhelmed. While the food was decent enough, it definitely did not live up to expectation. The meal felt rushed from beginning to end. While the wait staff was pleasant enough, they clearly showed their disappointment when we didn’t order a second beer, more food or desert. Strangely, appetizers, wines and beers are not listed on the dinner menu, so we didn’t know the cost of each which was surprising since the menus are printed on cheap copy paper. They serve beer in copper mugs which gave it a metallic taste I did not care for. Now on to the food – I ordered the chicken shish kabob. It came with a cucumber, lettuce, and tomato salad that was refreshing. The main dish consisted of a small portion of a blah tasting pilaf and one small chicken kabob with about four small pieces of veggies. While it was somewhat tasty, it came with no side sauces and was a small portion. Nothing was extraordinary here. I really wanted to like this place since I live in Redwood City, but I did not and will not return.