This tiny restaurant turns out dishes with big flavours from Turkey’s southeast province of Hatay: spicy kebabs (including regional specialities like Arap kebabı (mincemeat cooked with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and parsley) and lahmacun, as well as assorted meze.
Land of Tolerance: Hatay
Hatay is an ancient city that has been fascinating for centuries with its historical and ethnic make-up. The fact that the oldest civilisations of human history lived in these lands and hosted many beliefs and cultures made this region richer and indispensable. The devastating effects of frequent earthquakes also make Antakya a city that is constantly reconstructed.
The cuisine of Hatay is heavily influenced by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern migrants over time. The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Hatay cuisine is kunefe. And then there’s the wide variety of Hatay breakfast choices. Another classic, the tray kebab – the kebab is prepared by spreading minced meat on a tray and grilling it.
Karisik Meze Tabagi (Mixed appetiser plate)
The appetiser plate is a lavish mix of different hummus, dips and yogurt, featuring the springtime choices of vegetables of Yayladağı.
Hummus and muhammara (hot pepper dips) are popular local appetisers that are beautiful with the pita bread. It is supplemented with different salty yogurt dips. Everything is served with a generous pour of delicious and fragrant olive oil from the region.
Antakya Tepsi Kebabi
This dish of Arabic origin, known as Lahm-ı Sini (tray kebab) in the local language, is made exclusively by the butchers of Antakya.
Veal is carefully minced in the meat grinder. The minced meat is grounded a second time with garlic, parsley and pepper. Then other ingredients are added to spice up and variate the flavours of the kebab. The grounded and flavoured minced meat is spread on a tray and then grilled in an oven with a mixture of tomato sauce. Local hot pepper is also put on top and baked.
Served with wraps, you can put some of the meat, wrap it like a popiah and eat it without messing up your hands.
Washing everything down with a strong cup of tea, there’s no more room for dessert, so I have to skip the kunefe. They have good dessertsI am sure, given the quality of the dinner i just consumed with delight. I was the only table for dinner, but it was 8pm, I was told locals do not come out for dinner until much latter. I believe that!
Located opposite W hotel Istanbul, recommended if you are staying there.
Hatay Antakya Mutfağı
Şair Nedim Cad. 20, Istanbul, Istanbul 34353, Turkey
Tel : 212-236–3985
Date Visited : Nov 2014
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