MOST people have a swet tooth…I am no exception.
Turkish Chefs are among the best in the world. I was in Turkey recently to study and learn their cuisine, wines and culture. It comes as no suprise to learn that a Chef from a Kempinski Turkey has own the best Kempinski dessert of 2013! Turkish apricots, hazelnuts, almonds and of course Lokum are irresistable! I want to taste this dessert! Is there a Kempinski in Vienna or Duesseldorf I wonder??? Do Germans like this dessert?
Bosphorale- the Kempinski Dessert of the Year 2013.Bosphorale was recently chosen by a panel of 80 food and beverage executives in a blind tasting from 51 original recipes presented by 51 pastry chefs of Kempinski Hotels worldwide at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz. Executive Chef and Master Chocolatier William McCarrick of Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul created Bosphorale, which boasts local flavours such as apricots from Kayseri and Bergamot-scented Earl Grey tea married with Varlhona Chocolate. Bosphorale will be offered at all Kempinski hotels throughout the year!
Minarets and hilly cobblestone streets, its Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and the sapphire green waters of the Bosporus that glide through the city like a liquid sash, this eastern metropolis that spans Asia and Europe is a bit like New York.
You feel purposeful energy humming in the air as you watch the happy-go-lucky inhabitants stroll through the maze of streets and lanes, arm in arm. They seem to exude a confidence like in that song, “New York, New York!”, if they can make it here, they’ll make it anywhere. Frank Sinatra aka Ol’ Blue Eyes despite his unsavoury ties to an organisation that exists only in the fertile imagination of Hollywood, namely La Cosa Nostra aka The Mafia, sang it so well. Sometimes they’re headed to experimental music concerts, gallery openings or simply the office. Very often, they’re bound for cafes, meyhanes (think of them as Turkish tapas bars, serving small plates, wine, beer and raki) or the countless restaurants that edge the waterfront, the GaletaBridge and sidewalks.
Visitors to Istanbul can find it bewildering to decide where to eat. My gastronomic safari had me tasting Turkish specialities that that played out like a delicious movie. I came here to learn more about Turkish wines and food and fell in love with this city of 15 million people. Skyfall the James Bond movie was filmed here in the Grand Bazaar. Seriously, although he meaning Danile Craig puts in a lot of effort…the best 007 is and always will be Sean Connery. Danil is just so aesthetically challenged and looks biologically old…
Terrific Turkey & Vibrant Venezia!
By Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
The intrepid Travelling Gourmet flies to the land of two continents to…
MARVEL at the broad Bosphorus, the waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It separates Europe from Asia and intriguing Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus on the Marmara end with the old city primarily in Europe. Istanbul is amazing! This city of 15 million is a melting pot of cultures, history, cuisines and ancient monuments, including the TopkapiPalace which sits on the Golden Horn. The Golden Horn is a branch of the Bosphorus that is shaped like a horn. It shimmers like fine gold when the sun is setting. The most magnificent view of the Golden Horn is from the romantic Pierre Loti Cafe perched high on a hill at 119m. Here the ‘bon vivant’ will enjoy a tulip shaped glass of traditional Turkish Tea brewed in the age old way with a blazing wood fire…while enjoying the eagle’s eye panoramic view.
Means Turkish cuisine and it is the cuisine of the Ottoman Sultans, a civilisation in itself.
A typical Turkish breakfast consists of cheese like beyaz peynir, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, hazelnuts, jam, honey, and kaymak. Sucuk is a spicy Turkish sausage like Chorizo except it is made with beef, pastırma, börek, simit, poğaça and soups are eaten too. Börek are baked Phyllo pastries filled with cheese & minced meat. Visne(sour cherry juice) plus fruits like yellow plums, apricots, dates, grapes & figs are also served.
Appetising Turkish food will whet your appetite in Aqua. In the luxurious Four Seasons Bosphorus, the al fresco terrace is just a stone’s throw from the indigo waters of the Straits. Cheerful Chef Mehmet Gök serves up Turkish specialities plus “Turkish meets Italian” goodies. I adore the Turkish breakfast buffet spread with freshly baked breads including the ubiquitous Simit. This “Bagel-like” ring bread is encrusted with aromatic sesame seeds. Delightfully delicious with Turkish Kasar Cheese and Pastirma, a “pastrami-like” salami made with beef. Savoury Turkish cheese like Beyaz Peynir is similar in some ways to Greek Feta cheese. Relish Simit too with Turkish honey, apricots & plums. Another dish to try is the Turkish answer to Spanish Omelette with tomatoes, green capsicum, onion, olive oil and eggs! This yummylicious dish called Menemen is a wonderful start to your day! The Turkish word for breakfast, Kahvaltı, means “before coffee” so the perfect beverage with your food is a cup of amber Turkish Tea in a curvaceous tulip shaped glass. For dinner have Doner Kebab of Beef, Onions, Tomatoes & Pickled Gherkins with Kav 2009 Bogazkere Okuzgozu red wine. As you dine in style in Europe, look across at Asia in the distance…
Four Seasons Bosphorus
Ciragan Cad. No. 28
Tel: +90 212 381 4000
The newest restaurant in Istanbul has this unique name because all vehicles in Istanbul have the prefix “34”. On level 2 in the Grand Hyatt, this is Istanbul’s answer to Mezza 9 in Singapore. My friend, Executive Chef Fabio Brambilla has incorporated five different dining concepts in this spacious & bright family friendly restaurant with “cloud” ceilings. Fabio explained, “I use the finest seasonal ingredients…and for me the most important ingredient is passione!”
At the entrance, there is the Charcuterie & Cheese Room, where over 30 varieties of Turkish cheese from cities like Kars, Trabzon & İzmir are displayed. There is also Meze and chutneys like red onion and chestnut. Pasta like the Strozzapreti tossed with Beef Confit and Rosemarino, soups & roasted sun-kissed market vegetables is in the Kitchen. A must-try is EtliYyaprak Sarma which is vine leaves stuffed with meat and rice. The Smoke House is where the meats from Edirne and irresistable Kebabs are cooked, from roasted organic lemon chicken to Turkish classics like Urfa & Adana Kebab, plus a variety of grilled fish caught in the Black Sea or the Aegean. Hidden treasure is at the Bakery & Patisserie where Turkish & International desserts like Gelati, Baklava & Turkish Delight plus freshly baked breads & French pastries are so tempting! The comprehensive wine list with many Turkish wines is outstanding. There are 34 varieties of Raki, the Turkish spirit that turns cloudy when water is added. Macho Raki distilled from grapes with aniseed is a Turkish institution. Savour Raki on the rocks slowly with your food…or you’ll be ‘mabok’.
Grand Hyatt Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 368 1234
PRIMED for Perfection!
In the trendy Nişantaşi shopping center of Istanbul you will find the Park Hyatt Istanbul – Maçka Palas’s signature restaurant. The Prime specialises in gourmet steak and seafood prepared to perfection on a charcoal grill. The warm ambience with mission-style oak furniture and floor-to-ceiling wine display walls puts you in a good mood. The show kitchen lets you see dynamic German Chef Martin Scholz cooking up a hurricane. A unique refreshing soup is the Chilled Melon & Water melon Soup with Berries, Blackberries, Mint & Pastirma Toast! Delectable dishes like juicy Prime Steak Tartare with Single Malt Whisky Dressing and tantalisingly tender 28 days old Turkish Ribeye with Asparagus, Chunky Fries & Young Carrots are marvellous in their taste and presentation. Pure ecstacy with Sevilen Syrah 2008. The King Crab plus sun-dried Tomato Salad with Suvla Clairet Syrah 2011 is another excellent dish. It made my tastebuds dance in rapturous delight.
The seductive sweet took my breath away. Served in a gold coffee cup, hot sexy Chocolate sauce was poured on the Mascarpone Cafe Liegeois with marinated Cherry. Married lovingly with Pantukkale Opera Sour Cherry & Merlot wine, it was a match made in Heaven! I must mention dynamic Batu Pay, Director of Food & Beverage who ensures the food and wines here are of the finest quality.
The Park Hyatt is such a fabulous place to stay that the Sultan of Brunei stays here when he is in town. In your splendid suite which even has an Nespresso machine, you have your own steam room in the bathroom with light therapy on the ceiling.
Park Hyatt Istanbul
Bronz Sokak No. 4
Tel: +90 212 315 1234
From Istanbul I flew on Turkish Airlines, Europe’s Best Airline 2011 & 2012, to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic. A great place to stay is Venissa on Mazorbo Island which is the only place in the world with 1 hectare of unique Dorona grapes. The ancient nobility of Venice including the Doge, enjoyed Dorona wine and I was privileged to taste the very FIRST vintage of Venissa 2010 with Desiderio Bisol, the warm hearted brother of my very dear friend, Gianluca Bisol. This still wine has a deep gold colour with a bouquet of honey and Chamomile, soft yet savoury on the palate. taste it with both eyes closed and you could almost imagine…it was a red wine. It was fascinating to hear how he & his brother, Gianluca resurrected this almost extinct grape to make the wine of ancient Venice. The ristorante here helmed by my friend, hardworking Chef Paola Budel, showcases Venetian specialities and seafood from the Lagoon like Polpo (octopus) with Wild Spinach & Gnocchi. It has been awarded a very deserving Michelin Stelle (Star)!
Tel: +39 041 527 2281