This is the final installment of the Turkey portion of Food Tour 2012. It begins with dinner at Hacibasar, in Istanbul with our friends and Michael’s mom and her friend. Our friend Özgür’s body is allegedly comprised of at least 1/3 food from Hacibasar because when he didn’t like the dinner offerings at home, his mom ordered food from this favorite restaurant of his. I’m pretty sure there’s a plaque with his name on it somewhere at a special table if you look hard enough.
Hacibasar is popular with good reason–they served us the most delightful variety of dishes and we enjoyed them all. The top photo is of raw beef spicy meatballs, cured with lemon juice. You eat them by squeezing on a little extra lemon, then wrapping the meatball in a lettuce leaf. This (and one of the salads) might be my favorite thing we tried that night.
From front to back: strained yogurt with seasonings; the salad in the middle was my favorite, made with tomato, cucumber, walnuts, parsley, and pomegranate syrup; tomato, cucumber, and onion salad.
Yet another appetizer at Hacibasar was this gooey, melty cheese drizzled on flatbread. My little friend Derin kept making portions for me and handing them over.
My dinner was a half order of kebap over yogurt with mushrooms and bread mixed in. Oh, this was another favorite thing from that night.
Michael ordered a full portion of the mixed pide.
I think this was another shared dish.
We didn’t order dessert, but they brought out these little baklava squares on orange slices (delicious). The best part, though, was the votive holder made of a curled-up orange rind.
The very next morning, we somehow managed to stuff ourselves yet again with a lovely breakfast. Füsün took us out for a typical Turkish breakfast at Mado. We sat in the sunshine and feasted. Clockwise from the left: five different varieties of cheese (to go with the bread and simit that aren’t pictured) and tomato and cucumber slices; cheesy layered pastry; honeycomb and a fresh cream (somewhere between mascarpone and clotted cream), which was our absolute favorite part of breakfast; reduced grape sauce and cherry sauce for the bread (the grape was amazing); butter; mixed olives; cured beef.
At Mado, we also shared these spicy sausages and eggs.
Michael and I actually skipped lunch that day (ahem, I think you can understand that our bellies were fully stocked), but made up for it at dinner. This is a meat-filled puffy pastry–most of it is air–and it was such a treat.
Dinner was at a manti (little meat-filled raviolis) restaurant. You can choose whether you want your manti just boiled or baked then boiled for extra crunch. This is my dish of (blurry–oops) baked-then-boiled manti, which I loved, topped with a garlicky yogurt sauce, sprinkled with dried mint, urfa biber, and sumac. Addictive.
Michael preferred the manti that was only boiled.
Aaaand we’re off to Bulgaria next.