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Yogurt, the delicious fermentation

Yogurt is yogurt, for us. Not a big fuss, one of the essential ingredients of every household. We love yogurt, not a secret. On the lands of Anatolia, people know how to make yogurt instinctively, sensing how long milk should boil and measuring the temperature of milk, with tip of…

Spring Kebabs

In Gaziantep fruits are a big part of the cooking. Kebabs get their share as well, not to mention they change seasonally. Keme mantarı –desert truffles- announces the coming of spring, then yenidünya kebabı -loquat/medlar- follows, last for spring is sarımsak kebabı – the whole bulb of garlic-. Keme mantarı after being…

A survival guide to
gluten-free eating in Istanbul!

I know I know… Gluten-free eating in Turkey may sound challenging, I admit. If it is not the dishes themselves makes you take the challenge, it is the slaphappy, carefree, lovely waiters, the know it all restaurants and nothing can happen form this kind of attitude bearers. Yes, you need to…

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Şahin Lokantası – Istanbul

Walking down the Orhan Adli Apaydın Sokak, if you see a crowd of suits and white collars, people gathered, waiting hungrily or smoking happily then you are in front of Şahin Lokantası. Serving since 1967, Ismail Şahin, known as Şahin Usta or Baba, holding his business together, cooking, talking to…

Sorry, but no: Otto Santral – Istanbul

A very trendy place. This could not mask the bad service and bad food. Supposedly 3 mushroom pizza being served with tinned one type mushroom, cold coffee, stale, almost perished piece of cheesecake, topped  with a berry coulis, which could not rescue it. Inattentive, rude service staff. I did not…

Vefa Bozacısı – Istanbul

A narrow street, a little away from the center of town. A historical landmark, since 1876. Crowded inside. People enjoying, chatting, nibbling on roasted chickpeas and sipping boza. Boza, is a traditional drink enjoyed during winter time. This thick yellowish fermented drink, is a little sweet a little sour. A…

Halil Lahmacun – Istanbul

Two facts about lahmacun. Must be thin. Must be crispy. And must be delicious. Some with garlic, some with onion. Always good quality flour, meat and a know-how. Tiny restaurant, Halil Lahmacun has been serving to Istanbul locals since 1980. Their success is the sustainability. The lahmacun is crisp, little…

Şekerci Cafer Erol – Istanbul

Before you go in the wonderland, you have to decide what you want to purchase, otherwise you feel like Alice falling down the hall. A sweet dream. A paradise of sweets. 203 years old establishment and run by fifth and sixth generation. In the heart of Kadıköy Food Market, its…

Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi – Istanbul

Third generation, same place, same menu. Pure success story. Lot of similar restaurants popped up in years, scattering around Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi. They stayed the original, humble, delicious. Entering through the door you find the grill on one of your side, the cash register on the other. If full you…

Petek Büfe – Istanbul

In  the good old days, when fathers or grandfathers took their sons or grandsons to a movie, they used to stop at Petek Büfe to grab a bite. But not any bite. The name was Artist! A hot dog sandwich, what made all the fuss. As years passed they had…

Sora Margherita – Rome

Go to Rome on artichoke season, you will  not regret it. A very small window, one small door. Some wooden chairs scattered outside, for the miserable ones waiting.  A narrow street, a street church. Two women, standing bold and ready to rock. They make Jewish Italian food. Home cooking to…

Jen Cafe – London

Little green corner shop. A-in-the-middle-of-Chinatown- hidden-gem.  One of the many reasons to return London over and over again. Years ago, we ended there on a wet  London day. We were cold and wanted something to sooth us up, physically and mentally. Then we saw this little window display, where a…