Namli Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine New Brunswick

We had a really great meal at Namli in New Brunswick. The name says Mediterranean and Turkish but it seemed very Turkish to me. This was our first time but I think it’s the best Turkish I’ve found in NJ. They even have a parking lot which is a big deal in New Brunswick. The service was very good including a pitcher of water being brought out immediately and left without being requested. The server asked if he should start the entree or wait a few minutes after delivering the appetizers. (we had him wait) I hate when the entrees arrive before we’ve finished with apps. The chef even came out to check how we liked everything.

We were given a very generous basket of pita’s with a nice dipping sauce of finely chopped sun dried tomatoes and spices in oil. For apps we had a small Namli salad (which can serve 4 in my opinion) of finely chopped tomatoes, onions, pomegranate juice, parsley, walnuts and spices. It was really great but needed a little bit of salt. We also had Ezme (spicy chopped tomatoes, green and red peppers, walnuts, garlic and extra virgin olive oil), Casik (Yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber, garlic, fresh mint and fresh dill) and Icli Kofte (Ground meat in a bulgar shell). All were the real thing although the Icli Kofte were good they were not as not as good in Turkey, the rest were just as good.

With so many apps we split one entree combo of lamb chops and Doner with bulgar and vegetables. The Doner is the genuine article, lamb and beef sliced off a vertical spit. Not the cones of processed meat most places have but real meat stacked, seasoned, roasted and sliced off. The lamb chops were cooked perfectly. Both the lamb chops and the Doner were the best I’ve had in NJ.

Dessert was Kunefe and Baklava. The Baklava was good, but the Kunefe was great.

We’ll need to return to try more things and make sure today wasn’t a fluke but we couldn’t stop talking about what a great find this place is.


Wow Jeff! That is looking top notch! Great find buddy. The lighting you got on those pics is phenomenal. I really need to get a new camera now that my ex took all my gear :smile:

Do they cook over charcoal? You and Mishy sure know how to eat!

DAMMMMMN. I know you two know your Turkish food-signed me up for a trip to New Brunswick!

Great write up. Terrific photos, too.

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What is Kunefe? And why do I want a PSTOI* based only on your photo?

Künefe is a traditional dessert made with thin noodle-like pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese and other ingredients such as clotted cream or nuts.

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Michelle took all of the pictures and gets all of the credit for them. She just used her iphone. We were at a table with a window and light coming in reflecting off the snow was perfect.


Well, that explains everything! :yum:

Nice work by Michelle! I’ve said it before but iphones seem to take great food photos in my eyes. They blow my android pics out of the water. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I can’t get pics like that with my phone. Nicely done

Btw, I have some new color blind glasses coming in so next time you see me I might look a little different lol :slight_smile: (that is if they work…that’s the big question )


I hope those glasses work so you can finally tell the difference between regular and blue crab!

Crabs are easy. I just let all the females go to produce more crab :smile: I’m ready for summer!


It’s been a while since I’ve tried a restaurant for the first time and been truly WOWed, but that’s what happened on Saturday.

Backstory: I’m an (old) RU grad, and when my brother graduated 3 years after me, I remember saying that in another 5 years, New Brunswick would be a much cooler college town. WOWSA - I had no idea of what was to come! I’ve been to NB so I knew about how much building there had been, but I didn’t realize that there’s a 2nd ‘downtown’ on Easton Ave these days! So when my former housemates decided to get together, we wanted an early start at the bar down the street from our old house, and I was charged with finding a restaurant that would take a res for 6 of us. Thanks to Google Maps, I was able to see all kinds of interesting cuisine available near the bar, so we wouldn’t have to worry about finding parking near George Street.

We started at the Ale 'n Wich, and were thrilled to see it was mostly unchanged. I can’t clock the number of hours I spent there while living a mere 4 houses away! Then we were off for our res at Namli, which I knew wasn’t too far away, but I didn’t know where Central Ave was. That’s when one of the crew said it was walkable. Turns out it was AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE BLOCK!!!

Namli is BYO and across the street from Joe’s Liquors, where I also spent a lot of time while at RU. :slight_smile: Very happy we had a res, as the place was almost full at 7:30. We started with the Namli salad, which was a heaping bowl of chopped tomatoes, onions, and herbs in a pomegranate juice-based dressing. We also shared a small app sampler of stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, babaganoush, and a grilled eggplant salad. Perfect amount for each of us to have some, and everything was excellent. Warm pita and an excellent dipping sauce that was almost muhammara-like (but thinner, w more oil) was brought to accompany the apps.

For entrees, there were a couple of whole branzino, falafel, Namli Special Begendi (lamb shish w smashed eggplant), and (this will shock those who know me) I had the combo of lamb chops w lamb shish, which came w salad and a delicious serving of bulgur. :grin:

Sadly, too full for dessert, but someone ordered coffee, so I asked about tea. The waitress came back with a typical box of tea bags and I said “Oh…I was hoping for Turkish tea - mint tea?” I swear to you she grabbed my face and kissed my cheek - but then told me they didn’t have it. Bummer, as everything else was so on point! I think she thought I was part of her tribe (sadly, no - but I do love that food)!

In the end, we all agreed that we were full but not uncomfortably so, half of us took home leftovers, and we loved how light and fresh everything was, without exception. They added a 20% tip and we added to that, so it was $50pp and well worth it. If we still lived there I would just go from the Ale 'n Wich to Joe’s to Namli multiple times a week. SO wish I had this nearby!! Namli Turkish Cuisine


This is one of my favorite Turkish places.

Mods should merge into existing thread

Namli Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine New Brunswick - Regional Dining Discussions / New Jersey - Hungry Onion

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Weird… I did a search and was surprised no one had ever posted about it! Yes, please merge! @NotJrvedivici

(done! Sorry it took so long I was away)