My first 12 hours of Turkish food culture
I love Istanbul, head to toe, and consider myself so lucky to have visited some of its most famous landmarks,always with an eye for its rich food culture,which I will condense for you in a 36 hours crash course.
There is one place in Fatih I would recommend:Hotel Sultania is conveniently located close to Sultanahmet and other famous landmarks, very friendly staff and great service, part of which includes a complimentary Cezerye,a confectionery which I quote ‘is traditionally believed to be an aphrodisiac and used to be consumed especially by Ottoman Empire’s Sultans’.
Interesting, don’t you think?
Lunch or tea
Depending on the time of the day you arrive, you may want to head to theOld Ottoman Cafe for a relaxing tea in a quiet, and fresher, alley or your first Turkish lunch.The ubiquitous Shepherd’s salad has to be tasted with pomegranate sauce dressing and if you love eggplant,this baked sample with mushrooms and garlic is the answer, ideal preamble toa tender lamb stew with hot green peppers.
A complimentary dessert has given you enough energy to walk, so head towards Topkapı Sarayı, the majestic residence of the Sultans,for the sake of beauty and history.
Topkapı may sound too demanding for you at this time of the day, then get a refreshing cultural moment by visiting the Ottoman Tombs nearby in Hagia Sophia’s courtyard, it is free andapparently ignored by the main flow of tourists.
Or it may be time for the Hammam experience.However, before you decide what your night will look like, make sure you taste a Künefe, the traditional cheese pastry in sugar syrup.I had a great one in a small diner in front of the tram stop in Sirkeci.Look for it and you won’t be disappointed.
If you are up for the busy Istiklal Caddesi, climb the stairs and reach the breath-taking terrace at Midpoint.Their Turkish Cabernet-Sauvignon is a perfect match for the meat dishes in the menu,like a Bosphorus kebab.
If you wish to.improve the qualitu of your sugar intake now, after a short walk to Hüseyinağa, you may grab one of thesweet delicacies of Inci Pastanesi.
Stay tuned for the next 24 hours!