There is no dearth of Turkish Restaurants in the city. One of my favourite cuisines and I can never get enough of good Turkish kebabs and Shawarmas. But Emirgan Sutis stands out as one serving authentic and a more comprehensive menu serving some little known culinary delights from Turkey.
We were invited to dine at one of their two branches – at the Pearl and at the Al-Emadi Financial Square.
The one at the financial square has a big open kitchen on one side where you can see all the live action and the seating area extends on the other side. It was a great place to dine with the kids as it’s a busting with activity and the kids’ tantrums blended in with the din of the place.
We ordered the mini burgers for the little ones which came in three pieces with some potato wedges on the side. The burgers were a bit dry but otherwise they were good enough to keep the kids occupied for a while.
Meanwhile, we adults placed our order. We went straight into the main course and were truly spoilt for choice. They have a extensive menu with detailed descriptions and pictures. With a little help from our waiter we chose the Kasarli Kofte , a mixed meat (beef and lamb fat ) kofte kebab filled with cheese, served with rice and sumac dusted onions. The salty cheese was oozing from the soft meat. I wished it was a little spicier and I felt the meat was a tad less flavorful but we did enjoy the dish.
But the best was yet to come. The waitress suggested we try the new items on their menu which were the Manti and the Sec Tava.
The Manti was kind of like a ravioli or a dimsum. The little doughy dumplings were packed with flavorful minced beaf and a whole lot of them were arranged on a plate and doused in a tangy yogurt sauce with lots of garlic in it (there’s never enough garlic!) and olive oil. Amaaazing! I think the dish was originally served cold, which I mistook it to be the occupational hazard of a food blogger and asked it to be reheated. A confused waitress reheated it for us but another one later confirmed that it is actually served cold. The best part – it tasted great either ways. Even my little man approved of it and continued to call it dimsum.
The Sac Tava was another lovely dish perfect for sharing as a family. The minced beef (of the right size) were cooked in a tomato and bell pepper sauce and served on a tava or cast iron grill along with bread or white rice. It was tangy and tasty. Went well with both bread and rice and was very filling as well!
Too full for dessert we just went along with the suggestion of our server and had their best seller baklava with ice cream. Instead of a large portion we tried small pieces of assorted baklava topped with the elastic Turkish ice cream. The chocolate and the pistachio flavors of the baklava were the best and of course we couldn’t have enough of the Turkish ice cream and had to ask for more.