A few weeks ago (although it feel like forever now) Joel and I took a weeklong trip to Istanbul, as with most of our holidays the food was one of the main draws for us. It did not disappoint.
We ate quite a range of foods, Joel made it his personal mission to find the best kebabs, I wanted to try as many baklava as possible and we were both excited for the fish.
Considering Istanbul has water everywhere you turn it perhaps no surprise that we ate a lot of really good fish. The mackerel sandwiches cooked fresh on boats by the docks with suspiciously pink pickle were cheap and delicious lunch. The tiny Ahirkapi Balikcisi restaurant tucked in a back street near our hotel made the most amazing buttered shrimps (Joel had a second portion for pudding – that took some explaining to the waiter with limited English). On our last night we decided to treat ourselves and crossed the bridge to Beyoglu for cocktails and a meal at Lokanta Mays where I had the most beautiful sea bass with caramelized figs.
And by kebabs I specifically mean lamb shish, Joel made it his mission to track down the best one he could find and after many very good kebabs he decided his favorite (and the one worth re visiting on our final day) was the tiny kebab shop tucked away in the grand bazaar, we were one of the few people sat on the little tables in the path (most orders were taken out to shop owners) the meat was unbelievably tender, the flat breads were gorgeously soft and infused with smokey flavour and the simple chopped salad cut perfectly through the fatty-ness of lamb, plus is was super cheap!
Was everywhere, every day, delicious.
On every street corner there was a fresh fruit stall and this one had to win for the best display, I have no idea how they peeled the pomegranates like that!
Istanbul was a wonderful place to visit for many other reasons than the food, people were extremely friendly, everybody kept telling us what a lovely couple we were (they obviously didn’t witness the map discussion), the architecture blew me away, the Aya Sofia is the most beautiful building I have ever been inside, I cannot wait to go back when the huge scaffolding which has been up for over a decade is removed so I can see it in all its glory.
We have been so busy since we got back that I have hardly had time to cook never mind write about cooking. I am excited for the festive season and all the creative cooking that entails.