As per the previous post, I am sure you guys out there would have guessed correctly that I went on holiday! It was a trip that I have been looking forward to for some time…
It all started in Istanbul. Upon arrival, the weather was already not agreeing with me, grey, wet & dismal. But still, it’s Istanbul! So much to look forward to, so much to explore. As we hopped on the ferry on the asian side, heading for the european end, or specifically Sultanahmet, the touristy part, can’t help but soak in the foreignness of it all; the chestnut stalls near the pier, çay (turkish tea) boys selling drinks on the ferry, the lingering salty, fishy smells etc.
After taking the feribot, crossing the underground tunnel and hoping on a tram, we found ourselves in front of the Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi, one of the more famous Köftecisi’s in Istanbul. There are some others with similar names, so look out for the sign to come to the original. I think I always wonder how authentic such places are due to their vicinity to the attractions and being in THE touristy zone. Yet, as we stepped in, it was obvious that the groups of locals outweigh the tourists.
The place is 3 floors high yet we manage to get a seat on the ground floor. Despite the high traffic, the place is rather clean and the waiters friendly. There’s no menu but as they only serve köfte and kebab, there’s really no need either. Service is so fast that this place feels like a fast food joint, Istanbul style!
The condiments at every table includes chilli flakes or pul biber, which would later add some kick to the meatballs!
Most Turkish meals are started off with ekmek or a bread basket. This is the staple that’s usually best for mopping up whatever gravy that the dishes come with, hehe. Apart from bread, we also had a side of a mixed salad with piyaz or beans. Fresh & crunchy, paired with the creaminess of the white beans that were cooked with olive oil.
Served with pickled green chillies the köfte is wonderfully juicy with a light smokey aftertaste. The meat, mixed with spices that gives it a light cumin kick is bouncy and so flavourful. Rather basic, but sometimes, the simplicity is more than enough. A memorable start to my Turkish cuisine journey indeed.
For one of my friends that doesn’t eat beef, he’s lucky that there’s kuzu şiş kebap, lamb shish kebab. No frills also, but deliciously juicy.
To end the meal, I washed everything down with some ayran which I regarded as some form of salted lassi. The Turks love it but my friend was rather relieved that I liked it as she thought it was an acquired taste. But in my opinion, the cold yoghurty drink was refreshing.
Touristy or not, if you’re after some yummy köfte in a quick meal, this place is worth visiting. And best of all, it’s just near the blue mosque so it’s not difficult to locate.
Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi (www)
Divanyolu Caddesi No. 12,