Saturday, August 28, 2010

Food Around the World: Turkey

Hello and welcome to my first entry in a series called "Food Around the World". These entries are basically going to contain pictures of restaurants I've visited, food I've eaten (and seen and coveted), and what the entertaining/food culture is like in that country. Since I just came up with this idea today and have not had a chance (as yet!) to teleport around the world snapping shots of food, I'm afraid the photographs in some entries won't exactly be spot on. Had I known about this wonderful idea of mine a few years back, I would have made an effort to be more specific or focused in taking pictures of food and all the lovely things that accompany it!

So here is my first entry: Turkey. I visited Turkey in July-August of 2009 and was instantly in love with its color, culture, history, vibrance, dynamicism (if that's a word), and all that jazz. Istanbul has wonderful food (albeit a LOT of it is kebab, kebab, and more kebab) served in beautiful locations. You can enjoy a full meal sitting in an award-winning restaurant in a five star hotel near Istiklal or you can lavish in an enriching meal served at the lokanta around the corner.

Here are four of my favourite eating places in Istanbul and Bursa.
1- HAMDI restaurant in Eminonu. This restaurant is three storeys high. Ask to sit at the top floor. The views are wonderful. You can see the New Mosque (which is my favourite) and the Sulaimaniye Mosque. Hamdi is well known for its wonderful hot bread and of course, kebabs!
2-Mikla @ Marmara Pera hotel. This restaurant is "the" chic, sleek, smooth restaurant in Istanbul. It has a wonderful rooftop bar.
3- Iskanderi! @ Bursa... this is where the famous Iskandari kebab was invented! It's lamb kebab with rice and a special yogurt! Tastes fantastic.
4- Il Porto- this restaurant serves up Mediterranean, mainly Italian, food in a beautiful outdoorsy location in a very good neighbourhood of Istanbul. I was staring at the view more than eating the food but the combination is fabulous!!!

This is a lovely restaurant-cum-cooking school where I took a cooking class at. The place is managed by a lovely Dutch lady called Eveline and Chef Feyzi. The cooking classes are intimate and very hands on.. I am horrible at chopping, always have been, and learned some invaluable tips while there! The best thing about the place is that you get to have a lovely lunch afterwards enjoying the food you've made with everyone in your cooking class. It was a wonderful way to spend a morning in Istanbul.

Some of thousands of kitties that I fed while in Turkey!!

Zucchini fritters and green beans

The other main dish

Lentil soup
Amazingly sticky and sweet fig dessert

Cooking @ Cooking Alaturka
The knife that looked like a fish!!

Spices @ the Spice Bazaar!

The pool at Mikla *drool*@ the view
Again, cooking at Cooking Alaturka

Waffle stand!
A.... WATERMELON! outside a lokanta

Tea leaves

The largest scoop of icecream ever.

More icecream.
Turquoise ceramic dishes that are so Turkish!

Outside a little grocery store

Playing checkers- Turkish men and a Japanese tourist. I wish the picture had turned out better though.
Rose tea leaves
What the tea is served in once it's brewed.

The view from Mikla
This is what the terrace opens up to at Il Porto

View from the top floor of Hamdi

The rooftop lounge at Mikla

Food stand around midnight in Sultanahmet


  1. Fantastic photos, are so talented.
    I wonder how the rose petal tea taste? Yummy?

  2. Very! The smell was wonderful!



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