Turkish delight

When I was in Turkey…

The Republic of Turkey (as it is officially known as) is a country with a vast history with cities uncovered dating back to the Neolithic Period (or New Stone Age). It is a country bordered by eight countries and three seas, and sits in two different continents (Europe and Asia). It is a place that I found to be truly fascinating and unique.

Caves

Kaymakli Underground City

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Pigeon Valley

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 Turkish rug in the making

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Turkish rugs

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Börek

(Filo pastry with spinach and feta cheese)

Goreme

Göreme

Ceramics

Turkish ceramics

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Whirling Dervishes

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Sultan Han

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Mevlana Museum

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Pamukkale

(The weather was extremely foggy and I could hardly see a thing which was hugely disappointing as the pools here are meant to be stunning)

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House of the Virgin Mary

 Ephesus

 Ephesus

Askep

Asklepion

Troy

Troy

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Hagia Sophia Museum

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 Obelisk of Theodosius

Spice market

Spice Bazaar

(Where I sampled and purchased many varieties of Turkish delight!)

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 Bosphorus Bridge

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 Simit (Turkish bread ring)

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Dolmabahçe Palace

(The largest palace in Turkey and a must visit if you are travelling through Istanbul. The interior is BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL however photos are not permitted once you are inside)

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The Republic Monument (located in Taksim Square)

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Chicken doner kebab sandwich

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 Topkapi Palace

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque (better known as the Blue Mosque)

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Künefe

(A sweet cheese pastry that is baked until golden and crispy, steeped in a sweet syrup, and topped with ground pistachios)

Almazett

208 Balaclava Rd, Caulfield North 9509 8959

 

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Pickled turnips (stained pink with beetroot), Pickled carrots, Hommus, Baba Ghanouj and Tabouleh, served with warm pita bread

= Good

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Fatayer Bi Jibneh (filo pastry with feta cheese and herbs) and Fatayer (filo pastry with spinach and pine nuts)

Crisp golden pastry filled with tasty fillings.

= Good

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Falafel

Deep fried mixture of chickpeas, broad beans, crushed wheat and spices, served with Tahina.

Slightly dry, so be generous with the Tahina.

= Not bad

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Chicken wings

Char grilled chicken wings with garlic and lemon. Simple yet AMAZING.

= Excellent

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Roast potatoes with herbs

= Not bad

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Whole grilled fish with Tahina, walnuts, coriander, garlic, pine nuts and chilli

= Not bad

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Shish Tawook (barbecued skewers of chicken fillets with a garlic sauce)

= Good

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Lubia Bi Zeit (green beans, tomato and olive oil) and Riz Moufalfal (rice with pine nuts)

= Good

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Rahet El Halkoum (traditional Turkish Delight) and Baklava (layers of filo pastry filled with crushed nuts in blossom syrup)

=  Good

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 Mahalabiya (milk pudding served with pistachio nuts and blossom syrup)

= Good

 

Overall:

I love the Almazett Mezza Menu that they have here. You are served a set menu but can go back and order more items from the regular menu at any point in time, essentially making this an ‘all you can eat’ menu option (which always leads to me devouring plate after plate of delicious chicken wings). The atmosphere is comfortable and the service is fantastic (accommodating, efficient and very friendly). Note that this place only opens for dinner and that a belly dancer performs on Friday and Saturday nights (so be prepared for some up-close staccato hip movements, belly rolls and plenty of shimmying!)

 

Almazett on Urbanspoon

Maha Restaurant

21 Bond St, Melbourne 9629 5900

 

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Cherry, Pomegranate & Bitters Mocktail

(uludag sour cherry soda, pomegranate juice, rhubarb bitters)

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Smoked hummus, lamb, cashew, cumin seeds, almonds

Local olives, maltese fel fel

‘Aegean coast’ – Wild greens, beach bananas, oyster cream and pork crackling

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Zucchini falafel, almond, handmade haloumi and radish

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Braised lamb neck, brik pastry, smoked eggplant and harissa pickled cabbage

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Silverbeet borek

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Market fish, parsnip, sesame, wild autumn mushrooms and hazelnut

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Cracked wheat pilaf, barberry, date and almond

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Fattoush, caramelised garlic, tomato and cucumber

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 12 hour roasted lamb shoulder, sumac, garlic, green olive tabouleh

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 Crispy skinned chicken leg, Iranian smoked rice, BBQ corn and egg

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Vanilla rice pudding, toasted marshmallow ice cream, pekmez ganache and almond biscuit

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Peanut butter and chocolate opera cake, brioche ice cream, salted caramel and lemon meringue

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Turkish delight filled doughnuts, honey and walnuts

 

Overall:

Each serving comprised of a spectacular array of flavours and textures, and I truly enjoyed each dish down to the last bite. However I do want to give special mention to:

1. The hummus – fantastic! The underlying smoky flavour took hummus as I knew it to a whole new level

2. ‘Aegean coast’ salad – the smooth oyster cream was simply divine and provided a lovely contrast to the crispy pork crackling

3. Turkish delight filled doughnuts – crispy light dough with a tasty dollop of sweet Turkish delight inside

This place transcends you to somewhere else with its exotic rhythmic music and its dark elegant decor. In addition it is located in a sub-basement venue so that it perpetually feels like night. The service is efficient and the portion sizes are quite generous. (I originally had my eye on the 6 course menu but as it turned out the 4 course menu was already a struggle to finish) Note that the menu here changes regularly so that there is always something new and exciting to tantalise your tastebuds. If you haven’t been here before, put this on your places to try list!

 

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