When you’re in Oak Bay, there are only a handful of places to eat at. Obviously Ottavio is a great option, but if you venture ten or so minutes further down Newport you will stumble upon a gem that is definitely worth a visit for lunch or dinner. Nar nestled in a little house on the corner of Windsor and Newport, and serves traditional Turkish food. I didn’t visit Nar having any preconceptions of what Turkish cuisine should offer, but was definitely impressed with all aspects of my lunch experience!
Nar definitely feels a little bit like fine dining, with its pristine tablecloths and cosy dining rooms. I particularly enjoyed the slightly quirky Turkish artifacts dotted around (think little figures of Turkish men lined up on the mantle). Nar also has a cafe side, which is more casual, as well as outside seating (though no table service is provided outside – you have to order your food at the cafe counter). Also, I should note that they play lovely authentic Turkish music.
We felt welcomed by the staff at Nar. It seemed that they were genuinely invested in making our visit to the restaurant enjoyable as evidenced by giving us a choice of where we would like to sit, and getting us the name of the music playing even though it was basically unpronounceable by Western standards! Our server was attentive and seemed to put genuine effort into an understanding of Turkish food. Clearly, the owners do good work in keeping things up to standard.
I got the Spinach and Feta Borek with lentil soup. As a huge spanakopita fan, I couldn’t pass this option up. However, the pastry of the Borek was a lot thicker and gummier than a traditional spanakopita. It was definitely tasty, but I wasn’t sold on the pastry. This may be more about my personal preference and lack of experience with Turkish cuisine than about the quality of the food. Anyway, the soup was FANTASTIC. Flavourful, delicate, well-spiced, and perfect in all ways that soup should be perfect.
My partner in swimming and food got the Kofte – meatballs in a tomato-basil sauce with rice and a side salad. All I will say is that every. single. bite. was consumed. Feedback was nothing but good. The salad was fresh and deliciously dressed, and the meatballs definitely seemed to fulfill all expectations of what meatballs should be.
Aaaah value. Well, given the setting , service, and quality of food, I would say that it is great value for lunch. Eleven dollars is extremely doable. However, their dinner prices are considerably higher (as is to be expected, I suppose), and I don’t know whether I could pay upward of twenty dollars for an entree unless it was a very special occasion. Perhaps that’s just me being a cheap student, though. Realistically, Nar is all things good and your twenty bucks would go towards a worthwhile dining experience.
Go to Nar, eat their food, and you will be happy that you did.