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My week in Turkey: Foodie version

May 20, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Hi ya’ll, your foodie Stella is back from

TURKEY!

It was a trip that had to be arranged all of a sudden for many reasons but I did enjoy my holiday in Turkey for 8 days.

Anyways, to make up for the late update, I decided to tell you guys about my food experience in Turkey which surprisingly wasn’t so pleasant even though my expectation wasn’t that high anyways. Middle Eastern restaurants in SOHO and 24hrs Kebab place in Lan Kwai Fong were very much missed while I was there; yet, intriguing and wort experiencing they all were. (Oh, now that I mentioned I really have to blog about that Kebab place but I always forget to take a picture because it has been drunk food in the past few weeks. I forgot to not eat at such a late night/early morning after drinking; how would I remember blogging about the place)

So, let’s get in! woot woot

You must be thinking, “Oh yeah, WHY NOT. A CUP OF TEA IN TURKEY. SURE.” But hang on there.

Called Yam Cha, having afternoon tea or late night tea with either Dimsum or Rice cakes is a common culture in Hong Kong as well but a degree of inclination towards tea is way higher in Turkey. Basically what Turkish do everyday is

1) Drink tea

2) Drink tea

3) Drink tea

Oh, I forgot to mention that they drink tea!

Turkish tea (w/sugar or not), Apple tea, and Pomegranate tea are the most common and preferred kinds and you can find a stall on the street or a cafe where they sell a cup of tea in a decent glass cup. I have NEVER seen anyone drinking or selling in a paper/plastic cups. Also, you can easily spot a group of old grandpas drinking a cup of tea and playing chess in front of their houses or in any restaurants you’d walk into. Easy-going, YOLOing, or bit of a lazy character or Turkish is revealed through their possibly an hourly habit of drinking tea and chilling under the sun. I must say, they in fact are really savoury and relaxing and a cup of tea would usually cost less than 1 Euro.

greek salad

Tomato + Cucumber + Olive + Cheese

In Turkey, my days ALWAYS started with a plate-full of tomatoes, cucumbers, different selection of cheese and a scoop of Olives and are the main and basic dishes of a typical breakfast any hotels. Fertile and fruitful land in Turkey apparently is very suitable to grow Olives. Those vegetables as a result are really fresh, crispy, juicy, and sweet and olives just pop in your mouth leaving distinct scent and flavour.

And Cheese. Mhmm. CHEEESEEEEE. I’ve been to many Cheese shops in Hong Kong because I love doing wine and cheese once a while but the ones I had in Turkey were the best as if they served freshly made cheese right out of a cow/goat. Sometimes I added slices of bread or some other dishes such as butter rice or grilled fish for dinner/lunch but this four selections were never missed in single meal.

Let me be really honest and blunt here cus my blog is a free world of my own and throw me stones if you’d like. Turkish people are FAT, well BIG, like American Fat as if they’ve eaten BigMacs their entire life or something. Don’t take me wrong tho. I am not against obesity or trying to judge anyone by their look; I am simply saying that after having and seeing the kind of desserts that locals have in Turkey, their body shape is pretty much explainable. Turkish delights aka. Lokum, cakes, pastries with whipped cream and honey, fudge brownies, and so many more kinds of sweet desserts have I seen and I dared to try some, thinking that I could hit the gym as soon as I go back to Hong Kong and I did. haha Oh wells, guess what. Just a piece, a single piece was enough for a post-meal dessert since the sweetness of Turkish desserts were 17 out of 10 if I could grade it. They were SO sweet that I shivered(definitely not from happiness), chugged water, and many times I could not have more than a single bite. Many of the cakes served, as you can see from the second picture above, were soaked in syrup or honey and they tasted like a piece of beehive. Then I looked around the cafe, filled with local people having several pieces with cups of tea with cubes of sugar. Imagine them having such a tea time several times a day + three meals. I honestly used to think that I’m a chocolate-addict, that I LOVE sweets but little did I know that there were Turkish people WAY above my level.

Yes, I’m finally talking about Kebabs simply because I like to save the best bit till the last moment.

In short, I was disappointed. The very first kebab I had were too greasy since the dough was pan-fried first and then chicken inside was literally dipped-fried in oil and spices. I’m pretty sure a single kebab definitely was worth more than 1000 calories (you might think that it’s a bit ironic to talk about calories as a food blogger but I can’t help it because I’m the kind of person who gains weight after eating a lot. Also, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like guilty pleasure.)

Then the second kebab I had was a different kind of kebab since it was just a plate of roasted chicken and butter rice next to it. Sorry for not having a picture because I forgot to take one out of disappointment. That was the moment when I started missing Ebneezers. I missed the good food in Hong Kong.

The third kebab I had was okay. As you can see from the picture, you’d have a roasted beef, with or without veggies, with salads wrapped inside a bread, no other sauce, just a little pepper. I didn’t have to feel guilty at all after eating it but I still wanted little more of unhealthiness and flavour if you know what I mean. The first thing I did when I came back to HK was to cab to Lan Kwai Fong to have a fresh and warm Kebab to go at this 24 hours Kebab place I mentioned.

I’m going to wrap it up here as I went through major food experiences I had in Turkey and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it. These are my personal opinion so feel free to believe me or boo at me for probably having the worst food in all the way there. One of my friends actually told me last night, “Stella, I’m doubting whether you REALLY went to Turkey or not. Turkey has amazing food!”

But other than food, my week in Turkey was mind-blowingly amazing; I was in different gorgeous cities everyday and I enjoyed making local friends on the street, learning Turkish, talking, receiving random gifts, and having dry, sunny weather all along.

Next time I’ll come back with something actually delicious in Hong Kong :)                                                                             Till then, gyule-gyule!

p.s. Gyule-gyule is ‘good bye’ in Turkish.




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