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Review of Empires

Ranked #1,010 of 2,624 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$14 - US$33
Cuisines: Turkish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Old Town
Reviewed 6 June 2012

The outside is not especially preposessing but inside you step into a beautiful and enchanting little world; the ambiance is very intimate and pleasing. Seating downstairs at tables or for larger groups upstairs.

I've only ever had the meze platters here, the first time we ordered one each but I was unable to finish the very generous portions, much as I wanted to! The food is delicious, they are very happy to explain the dishes and recommend meze to you. The bread is also very more-ish! On our second visit we shared 7 meze between 2, which with the lovely bread and salad was ample. The food tastes fresh and authentic and the flavours are delightful.

The service is extremely attentive and courteous, without feeling that they watching you too closely. They have a BYOB policy. Looking forward to returning!

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Thank SWtravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 - 137 of 165 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2012

We love this place. The food is always amazing and generously portioned. The service is tentative and the ambiance feels very authentically Turkish. We always bring our friends here and have never once been disappointed. If your ideal meal out is Pizza Express you probably won't like it, but if you are looking for somewhere unique and off the beaten track try it!

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Thank Anna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

Had a meal here last weekend, we had eaten here last may during a visit to edinburgh and couldnt wait to return. We had the meze platters which were amazing!!.... a choice of 5 meze each from an extensive list... all the food was amazing, really cant fault it...

Took our own wine in as they dont serve alcohol... restaurant was quiet for the sunday of a bank holiday weekend which seemed a shame as its so good! (only one other table and unfortunately one of these men liked the sound of his own voice far too much!!).. however none of this took away from our experience and we cant wait to return on our next visit to edinburgh in july.

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Thank helen186233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

This was my second trip to Empires Cafe and it's a little gem. Cosy, tasty and pretty good value with its BYOB policy. Lovely to be able to try lots of different things at a reasonable price and its quirky layout makes it equally suitable for a large group or just two people having a quiet midweek dinner. Although its mezze you wont leave hungry as portions are generous and served with plenty of lovely bread and salad . Definitely on my list of places to go back to as I want to try the rest of the menu!

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1  Thank Jemima T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2011

I,ve been to Empires 3 times and found the quality to differ greatly. My first visit was last Nov and it was wonderful. My partner and I booked in advance for a fri eve and we sat in the mezzanine area. It was full and quite an intense experience with other diners sat close by, not intimate or particularly relaxing but it had a buzz about it that I liked. I think it was the owner who served us and I found him to be friendly, very helpful and attentive. He asked if it was our first time and went on to explain how things worked covering the byob(£3 corkage) no alcohol sold there, methods of payment (no cards) and gave us extremely well informed info on the food. We opted for the mezze and he asked us the type of things we liked so that he could tailor the selection to our tastes. We ended up with a huge amount of food, it arrived very quickly and it was delicious and fresh. My overall impression was extremely positive and I vowed to return.

My next visit was during the Fringe and was disappointing. I was left with the impression that i was just part of a production line. Service was rushed and it was difficult to catch a member of staff. The menu was reduced to platters only and i was stunned by how little food we got for the price, although it was still of the same high standard. The platter was a dinner plate with very small amounts of food dotted around, I did not feel it was good value at all. In fact I felt ripped off at paying, I think it was around £15/16 for only that.

My first time was so good that I decided to give it another chance this week and i,m so glad that I did. The service was outstanding, I had mezze consisting of 3 dishes chosen from the extensive list it was very fresh, delicious and in huge quantities, there is the option of 5 but i think that would be far too much for one person. 3 dish option cost £12.95- coffees and desserts extra, unlimited water and pitta included in price.

I,m going to highly recommend Empires but I wouldn't go during the Fringe again. Its a cosy place with a unique atmosphere but the upstairs area can be a little intimidating unless surrounded by people you know. In my experience and that of friends it is essential to book in advance for wknds. Those with restricted mobility may have difficulty accessing the mezzanine area and the toilets as both are reached via very steep stairs.

Strong points- Friendly, helpful staff. Delicious, authentic food. Atmosphere and surroundings.

Weak Points- mezzanine can be intimidating during busy times, facilities for those with physical disabilities, limited means of payment only cash or cheque. No license-£3 corkage to unscrew bottle lid and no wine glasses.

3  Thank littlemissmerlot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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