Are you unfamiliar with Börek, Baklava, Kebab, Köfte, Manti, Pilav?
Middle Eastern cuisine, you say? Quite close. But the exact and correct answer is Turkish.
Before my first encounter with authentic-Turkish cuisine, the only Turkish edible that I could name was Turkish Delight. Seriously, Turkish Delight can’t even be considered food, because it’s akin to candy or light snack. But ever since then, I’m deeply impressed and would always welcome an opportunity to relish in fine dishes such as börek, manti, lavas.
Wondering what these things are? Click on the the restaurant links and prepare for a delightful Turkish journey.
Located in the heart of Kemang, Anatolia is probably among the oldest Turkish restaurant in Jakarta. The menu didn’t have any photos, so with some assistance from the restaurant crew, I took a leap of faith when ordering the main course. But the dishes chosen turned out to be awesome!
While you’re there, try out its specialties: the Hummus. Hummus is the most popular Turkish dip that’s actually a creamy puree of blended chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice & garlic. You could choose 1 of the 4 toppings to go with your Hummus.
The drinks were rather interesting, I picked the Ayran (Turkish yoghurt drink) that tasted … salty. As for the dessert, I tried the Baklava, a typical Turkish dessert.
Also, look out for the nimble belly-dancers accompanying your dinner on weekends.
If you want to avoid the traffic gridlock in Kemang during the weekend, Turkuaz is a fine alternative where you can relish in delicious and fine authentic Turkish cuisine. It is always fully reserved on weekends, so it would be wise to make a reservation in advance.
Let’s get right down to business, shall we? Although I didn’t get to try the dessert, the two appetizers and one main course already filled my hearty tummies:
• Tahinli Patlican – Char grilled mashed aubergines mixed with Tahini, garlic, yoghurt and extra virgin olive oil (comes served with one piece of Lavas Ekmeqi, a hollow oven-baked Turkish bread)
• Ispanakli Peynirli Borek – baked puff with spinach and Turkish white cheese filling
• Iskander Kebab – Shaved Doner Kebab with tomato puree and bread bits, served with Yoghurt dan Sehriyeli Pilav (Turkish savoury rice)
Turkuaz doesn’t serve alcohol on the menu, but they provide uncorking service should you wish to bring your own wine bottle(s).
For more delicious treats, visit the author’s blog at http://culinarybonanza.blogspot.com/