Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Cookshop, Maltepe Park, Istanbul

I hope I have already proven my love for food and there is no doubt about it. If you get a chance to express your love while on work, that’s the best part I believe. I have always liked to rub shoulder with people from different culture and it was another such opportunity for me.

It was during my Istanbul visit and I was invited for lunch by my Turkish colleagues. I had no reason to deny the invitation and gladly accepted the hospitality. The place I was living was Maltepe which is a quite big place and the office was in Hastane which is quite close to Maltepe (only 4 stations from Maltepe over metro toward Kartal). I was accompanied by one of my colleague in his BMW to Maltepe Park where The Cookshop was located. We were around 10 people and the restaurant was happy to have us there. The colorful cozy environment was quite attractive, I believe it looks more attractive after dark.

I had the menu book and was asked to choose my dish. There was a English version of the menu on the same book but I preferred my beautiful lady colleague to choose on my behalf since she was quite familiar to the place and knew the food much better than me. She ordered for Steak with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and since I like spicy food a bit, she ordered Steak with Three Pepper sauce for me. Initially my understanding about 3 pepper sauce was stuck with bell peppers only but when I had the dish in front of me it was a sauce made of 3 kinds of pepper corn. The peppers had different flavors and none them was hot. I was even asked to make choice about the tenderness of the steak and I was surprised to see my colleagues making choice for semi-cooked steak whereas I couldn’t imagine anything other than well cooked meat. Finally it was a real soft and juicy steak with a tangy sauce.

We also ordered for some red wine which is a perfect match with red meat and having a sip of red wine with the steak was truly awesome. After finishing the dish we had a lovely ice cream which was a combination of three flavour with real fresh fruit. I should also mention the hospitality of the staff. Overall it was a splendid experience and I really had spent a quality time.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sekerji Cafer Erol (Şekerci Cafer Erol), Istanbul, Turkey

The moment my Istanbul trip was confirmed, I started dreaming about having delicious Turkish Delight or Lokum (in Turkish). I started searching on internet about the best source of this exotic delicacy and I came to know about Haji Bekir (Hacı Bekir) which is an age old confectionery who has brought the international fame to this Local dessert.

From the very next day I landed on Istanbul, I started looking for Haji Bekir shop. I would like to take the opportunity to share a bit of my experience about Istanbul in this context. Istanbul is a beautiful city. I loved it. It was my first abroad tour and how fortunate I was to start with Istanbul. I have heard a lot about many European cities, their glory, their history, their architecture, culture and people. Some from friends, some from the television and much from the internet. I bet, this Eurasian city is no less than any European city in any aspect. Magnificent sea sores, beautiful and warm people, excellent Mediterranean weather, wonderful food and most importantly a huge glorious past. I was overwhelmed to live such wonderful 30 days in the city of Istanbul.

Back to Turkish Delight, finally I found the famous Haji Bekir in Takshim Square (Taksim Meydanı). It was another great place to explore but I don’t want to make it long with all those lovely experience which all deserves a good amount of space on the page for each of them. The day I visited Takshim was the first weekend there and I had plan to buy Lokum on the final weekend so that I can bring all those lovely flavours to India and share with family and friends.

Meanwhile something really bad happened. A bomb blast killed 11 people, some place near Takshim and I was alerted to visit such crowded place. Though I can visit LOC or Syria if a mouth watering dish waits for me there. But still I started looking for some other branch of Haji Bekir or any such store and there I found Sekerji Cafer Erol.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon in Kadikoy sea sore (Kadıköy Sahili). The sea breeze had made the place splendidly romantic along with golden rays from sun over the sea. Exploring the narrow stone lanes packed with loads of aromatic food from the cafes, full of food lovers making me feel excited from inside. On a busy corner I found Sekerji Cafer Erol (Şekerci Cafer Erol). A dessert shop which I felt no less than a jewellery shop. Starting from the Baklavas, Tulumbas, Akide Candies, Chocolates and Turkish Delights. I could not count the number of verities they had for each of the item. My pictures explains a bit (yes! A bit only. It can’t express the feeling I had while taking the pictures). For a little introduction of Turkish Delight, it is a Gelatin made sweet with variant flavors and contain good amount of nuts and also coated with icing sugar, rose petals, saffron, nuts to prevent sticking. If you order a Kg of Lokum, they will stuff the packet with all of the kind in proportion to give a supreme look and utmost attraction. I ordered 3 Kgs of such Turkish (sounds a lot to you but I tasted a few only after sharing with everyone L ). I had Mint with Pistachio, Pomegranate with Pistachio, Orange with Hazel Nuts, Rose with Pistachio, Saffron with Hazel Nuts and Coffee with Pistachio in a box. I must be honest to say that I cannot share the feeling of having any of this delicious piece in my mouth, I must try yourself. I can share the pictures only if that can complement.

If you are in Istanbul, just don’t miss it. Given another chance, I may have a separate luggage bag for Lokum and I am not going to share with you! ;)

Delicious Candies

Mouth Watering Baked Desserts

Flavor Blast Turkish Delights

  • an affair of flavours... © 2012 | Designed by Rumah Dijual, in collaboration with Web Hosting , Blogger Templates and WP Themes