It has been four years in the preparation and diners have wasted no time satisfying their appetite to discover whether the wait has been worthwhile.
Practically without exception, on-line and word-of-mouth reviews of the Anatolia Sea View have been wholly complimentary and proprietor Veli Kirk has reported full houses even though it offers much greater capacity than its town centre sister premises, where having to turn away potential customers was a regular occurrence.
The new premises certainly couldn’t wish for a better setting – overlooking the vast expanse of St Annes sands, with panoramic windows complemented by a balcony offering seaside scenic dining when the elements are kind enough.
Having thoroughly relished our previous visits to Anatolia in the town centre – and giving it my only previous full marks 10 in this column – we were eager to see whether the coast-hugging incarnation, upstairs at the Pleasure Island complex and fitted out with all sorts of Turkish-style decor, lived up to expectations.
The welcome was certainly warm and efficient and we were immediately shown to our table in the window.
Although it was raining outside, the view was still very impressive indeed and we were glad we had booked early enough to make the most of the daylight.
After being asked as soon as we sat down what we would like to drink, we perused the menu and found it was basically an extended version of that which had proved so popular in the town centre - all the Turkish favourites, with additions such as steaks and pizzas, to ensure something for everyone.
The list of starters is split into hot and cold sections and we were well and truly spoilt for choice, but a hummus dip (£3.90) was a certainty, served with absolutely delicious home-made Turkish bread, and after coming close to plumping for another cold option of giant beans, we opted for two choices from the hot section to share.
The halloumi cheese (£5.35) was served with a sweet chili sauce and side salad and impressed us all, while the Sigara Boregi (£5.10) - pastry rolls filled with cheese – were an absolute delight as they melted in the mouth.
For mains, I took ‘spoilt for choice’ to another level, agonising until the very last second before ordering.
Adana Iskender – chunks of minced lamb and Turkish bread served with tomato sauce and yoghurt – is a favourite from holiday in Turkey, was a big hit at the Anatolia in town and is always difficult to resist, but I was excited at the prospect of Adana Shish (£12.15)- minced lamb kebabs.
They came served, as requested, with Turkish bulgar wheat but boiled rice or chips were also options. I thoroughly enjoyed them, although perhaps a little accompanying sauce - as I recall was provided when served at the town centre Anatolia, might have made it even more pleasurable.
My wife opted for a vegetarian moussaka (£10.95), one of a number of non-meat options on the menu and declared it a real treat, being especially impressed at the tenderness and variety of the ingredients,
Our teenage daughter was delighted to see a pizza section on the menu and chose a margherita (£8.95), which was generously topped with cheese and tangy tomato sauce, and was quickly polished off.
We were too full to choose a dessert from a wide range of tempting options but I opted to finish the meal in traditional style with a Turkish coffee (£1.95).
The service was efficient and courteous throughout and the attention to detail - even down to salt and pepper pots as well as plates marked with the restaurant name – is impeccable.
Add in the wonderful setting and the clear evidence all over the premises of extensive investment and the Anatolia Sea View is a very welcome addition indeed to St Annes’ eating out options.
It’s already proving a key attraction to the seafront in its own right and is well placed to provide a welcome tonic to that part of town through the winter.
With drinks, including the delightful Efes Turkish beer on draft, our bill came to £67.74.