6671 Chippewa St, Saint Louis, MO | Directions 6310938.590306 -90.306710
Neighborhoods: Saint Louis, Lindenwood Park
Overrated (and attitude) – We had been to this restaurant once previous to this visit and had really enjoyed the quite and romantic atmosphere and vegetarian food. We suggested it as the location of a family gathering, but I believe our out-of-town guests left with regret. Unfortunately, the dining hall was anything but enjoyable, as the music and conversation in the dining hall prevented anyone from being heard. The loud and obnoxious atmosphere, combined with the mistakes that followed have drastically affected our perception of this restaurant. The bartender refused to transfer our bar tab to the table, causing confusion and frustration with our party. Then, the waitress brought the beef moussaka rather than the vegetarian, refusing to apologize or rectify the mistake with the correct entree. Rather than argue with the customer about what was ordered, this mistake could have been prevented by simply ASKING which moussaka dish was preferred upon ordering (or just offering an apology). A place we truly enjoyed in our neighborhood has become a place we will certainly avoid.
Bad Experience at ?Aya Sofia? – At first everything looked normal, except for the fact that there was no one to guide us into our table for about 5 minutes. We immediately started to order a lot of Turkish food which we have been missing so much: Calamari, Iskender, Lamb, Chicken Soup, etc. Immediately after we took our first bites however, everyone was looking at each other with the same expression on the face: Wait.. This is not Turkish food. And even worse, this is not good food!
They had identical grocery-store-sauce for both Calamari and Iskender for instance. Meat of Iskender was definitely not fresh and apparently was made of canned meat. But let alone not resembling Turkish food remotely, which Aya Sofia clams to be about, they were of very poor quality. They simply tasted bad. When, for example, my brother ordered Lamb he asked the waitress for ?well done?, it was everything but well done. Airan, a Turkish drink, too tasted un-Turkish and simply bad.
The only exception was Chicken Soup, which was OK/edible. And the tip we paid to the waitress was probably less than she deserved, $8; she seemed to be a nice person and served us well. Aya Sofia is expensive, and for a modest dinner we paid about 82 dollars (plus 8 dollars of tip). To be honest, we were too shy to complain on the spot; we felt we were in our bother?s residence after 5 years, and it would have been inconvenient to do so. But still, while leaving I told the waitress that we are from Turkey, and that what we had was not Turkish food. She replied apologetically that ?yes, today our Turkish chief is not the one who is cooking?. When I e-mailed the chief and the owner of the restaurant a day after, Mehmet Yildiz, complaining about the situation, he replied with a rather rude e-mail (for instance, one of his sentences was that ?if I was looking for a meal made by mom I was in the wrong place), and refused to accept any responsibility.
great shrimp – I love the seafood here especially the shrimp. It is my new favorite restaurant. I also really like the martinis especially the belly dancers delight. Be careful though they can sneak up on you. the place is really pretty, they have a new patio too.
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