Dear Steemit friends:
Today, we'll be returning to the Sultanahmet (Old City) part of Istanbul for our Miss. Delicious adventure. This part of Istanbul is essentially what used to be called Constantinople - the capital of Roman Empire during the reign of Emperor The Great Constantine.
The Sultanahmet is geographically a peninsula which is separated by the Bosphorus straight. To the east of the Bosphorus, we have Anatolia otherwise called the Asian part of Turkey, and just below the peninsula, is the Sea of Marmara.
Even though the restaurant of choice is called Olive Anatolian Restaurant, it is actually situated in the European part of Turkey and not the Asian part (Anatolia). Still, the restaurant is perfectly situated in the heart of the Sultanahmet, just minutes walk away from the Gülhane Park and Topkapi Palace Museum.
Location of Olive Anatolian Restaurant
I was very fortunate to have some time to relax after a day of visiting the various ancient monuments of the area. A long strip of pasture that is Gülhane Park provided a much needed sanctuary for relaxation as the sun began to set. Of course, it's also the golden time (pun intended) for some nice pictures!
After a short walk along the lovely stone mosaic pavements of the old city, I arrived at the Yasmak Sultan hotel. It's situated at the corner of the street which bisects Erdogan Sk. and Ebussuut Cd.
From the outside, the hotel building holds a rather classy demeanour. A step inside and you'll find an equally impressive interior.
Very modern and clean refurbishments makes the place just that much more welcome..
But alas, this adventure is not about the Hotel. A quick enquiry to the friendly reception staff and I was on my way to the sixth floor for the restaurant.
If you decide to take the stairs, you can walk directly up to the 6th floor.
Or, if you're tired, lazy (or both) you can take the lift to the 5th, then walk up one floor.
Voila!. We finally arrived and it's time to take our first steps into this little gem of a restaurant.
The first thing you'll notice is the traditional Turkish music which is being performed live by a small quartet just at the landing area of the restaurant. They certainly have no reservations when it comes to performing loudly and proudly as you will find the music being played to almost a deafening volume. For some, it is perhaps the preferred delivery of entertainment over dinner, but for me, definitely a bit overwhelming.
Other than the central area where the musicians are performing, the restaurant is very spacious and occupies the top floor of the building, offering some of the best views of the old city and even parts of the city over the Bosphorus straight.
The musicians were so focused on their performance that they barely gave me any attention when I took pictures and videos of them!
Time to see what food awaits!
The plates here are beautifully designed. I'm not certain what the significance of the design is, but it is seen on all of the plates.
A couple of cocktails to start off, pictured here we have my new favourite drink, the Pina Colada, and Vinkara Doruk.
I've found that Turkish cuisine really likes to make use of various kinds of dips and sauces which can be combined with all sorts of dishes throughout the course(s) of the meal.
Here, is one example which are the 3 default 'dips' served along side the complementary bread. Garlic, Sun dried tomatoes and ground olive paste. I personally like the sun dried tomatoes the most, they have so much flavour, even more so than if not sun-dried!
As a warm starter, I decided to try the Turkish Ravioli Feraye. This was one of the Chef Signature Dishes and is served with Pepper and Yogurt sauce. I have eaten plenty of Italian style ravioli but they are almost always very moist and taste a bit diluted of flavour. Here, the Ravioli really absorb the Yogurt and Pepper dressing, and not only that, it's skin is crispy!
Like with almost all traditional Turkish meals, a selection of Turkish Meze helps to diversify the taste of your mains. The hummus and egg-plant work really well with Ravioli, and of course, the garlic mint sauce is like the swiss army knife of sauces. It literally tastes great with anything!
Next up, we have the Ottoman special; the Sultan Kebab. Another one of the Chef's signature dishes, it is a Grilled Filet Mignon with meatballs, sauteed with butter and served with crispy potato, Yogurt and Tomato Sauce.
I really love how it is served in a bronze Cloche, hiding it's splendour right up to the moment it is unveiled before your eyes.
I'm not usually a big meat eater, but this probably changed my mind - at least for the night.
The crispy potato tasted a little like french fries but supplemented with the Yogurt and Tomato sauce. This is a winning combination, particularly if you are the kind of person to enjoy french fries with ketchup - I certainly am!
At this point, I was already very full from the Sultan kebab, but my friend wanted to try the Grilled Filet Mignon with a different pesto like sauce. It turns out that the meat can taste significantly less tangy if you use herbal sauces! What's great, is the mashed potato underneath absorbed a lot of the juices from the meat and tasted fantastic with the remaining sauce!
Our last Chef Signature dish, the Turkish Style Chicken Kebab which is a piece of Chicken Thigh, and Chicken Breast Sauteed with butter, served atop of eggplant puree.
Eggplant is prepared quite differently here. At least compared to China. Smoking it has made it taste a little 'slimey' (in a good way) and has allowed it to absorb much of the taste of chicken.
To separate the taste of the eggplant with the chicken, the meat has been garnished with various herbs and sauteed with butter. Once you bite through the surface, the strong taste of the sauce is neutralised by the tender plain texture of the chicken.
Last but not least, the ever so popular traditional Baklava served with Vanilla Icecream. This particular version was freshly baked with pistachio and raspberry - both help to nullify some of the intense sweetness. When the sweet taste dies down a little, you can take a small serving of the icecream to wake those tastes buds back up!
Watch the video and see the atmosphere of the restaurant!
And that wraps up our Miss. Delicious episode #75!
Certainly a very lively and scenic restaurant with some superb food to match. As it is almost certain that visitors to Istanbul will visit Sultanahmet, I would highly recommend this restaurant for an evening of wonderful traditional Turkish Music as well as a really delicate dining experience.
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