"We've been looking forward to visiting Cafe Istanbul for quite some time and, so it was, we decided to visit as a whole team, making up a party of 8. First impressions were good, a nice modern restaurant with a friendly welcome and it was very busy for a Friday lunchtime. The intimacy of the restaurant made getting into our seats rather difficult without interrupting those on surrounding tables and the huge laminated menu card didn't help matters much either - they were bigger than the table! Aside from being squashed together, akin to being on an airplane with a big fat businessman sat next to you fighting for elbow space, the food was great value for money and the Karisik Mixed Grill (£12.90) was so big it increased the claustrophobia.
The chargrilled combination of lamb cutlet, lamb fillet, Istanbul lamb, spit roasted lamb and chicken with rice offered a great selection of Turkish specialities, whilst the Hot Chiken Salad (£10.90) was also worthy of note. The Spit Roasted Lamb Doner Kebab (£11.90) was popular and certainly a better alternative to those on offer at most takeaways in Manchester.
All in all, Cafe Istanbul is a good choice for those wanting to taste Turkish cuisine, however it's probably better suited for smaller parties than our own (in both belly size and number), unless you can reserve one of the round tables. It's not hard to see why it's nearly always busy though, although I'd be interested to see how many afternoons are 'written off' after diners return to their offices following a huge mixed grill!" - restaurants of manchester - 9/10/08 (visited on a friday lunch)