TURKUAZ CAFE - Review - 24 Rathbone Street, Whangarei

It was a Friday evening and we had less than an hour before heading to the Kelvin Cruickshank show. Usually I wouldn't like my chances of managing a sit-down meal in this short space of time but I'd dined here before and remembered it for its quick service, amongst other things.

This night was no exception. Our meals were delivered in ultra-fast fashion. What's more, just as I had remembered, they were filling, relatively healthy and very affordable.

While my partner went for the mixed meat kebab, I opted once again for the moussaka. The moussaka is like the vegetarian's version of lasagna. I order it because, besides being full of delicately-sliced and strategically laid-out vegetables - something I would not have the patience to create, coupled with the fact I would likely be the only one in my house-hold to eat it, given the vege factor, it is blimmin' delicious!

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The kebab, which tasted spicy and aromatic, also went down a treat and stayed intact!

Given the meals seemed healthy and it was a Friday night after-all, I decided to blow-out with a sweet treat: caramel slice for me and a generous slice of tiramisu for my partner. I am not a coffee fan but the flavor is so subtle, we ended up going halvsies.

Although we got there early before 6pm, Turkuaz Café was positively humming, getting progressively busier with a mix of all ages. As we left, I noticed a growing but steadily-moving queue for takeaways. While parents waited, children sat on the couches which surrounded a table full of activities to keep them entertained while their order was processed - a smart move for an eatery!

It's not often you will have the combination of a satisfying meal with quick service, parking at the door and at an affordable price - this is why I return. We made it to our destination and were seated with ten minutes to spare.

- Jodi Fraser-Bryant