There is nothing like travelling to Turkey, a celebrated culinary hotspot and enjoying authentic Turkish delicacies. But fret not, if you are unable to do so. For Mumbai, suddenly seems to be witnessing a plethora of restaurants offering Turkish and Middle Eastern fare. Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of the Ottoman cuisine, which is a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine. From Lamb Kibbeh to Hummus and Sobiyet to Turkish Coffee, you can savour it all right here.
Pondichéry Café at Sofitel Mumbai BKC, too is currently celebrating this cuisine with a food festival on until June 23 daily for lunch and dinner. A special menu has been curated by Chefs Mehmet Ogurtan and Hakan Guzelkokar from Raffles Istanbul. Some local favourites of Turkey such as Tas Kebab, Chicken Mahmudiye, Patlıcan Kebab, Lamb Döner Shrimp Guveç, Vegetable Crockpot are a part of the menu. For dessert lovers, there are multiple options to choose from such as Irmik Halva with Pine Nut, Oven Baked Rice Pudding, Candied Pumpkin and more.
Bayroute with 4 outlets in the city, offers authentic fare from Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Greece and Egypt, as part of its Middle Eastern cuisine menu.
From creamy and melt-in-the-mouth kababs like Kabab Lamb Istanbul (refer cover image) to an array of hummus served with warm pita bread, expect honest flavours. The Muhammara is a good option too. Although the cuisine leans towards carnivores, vegetarians have enough to choose from.
Rue de Liban in Kala Ghoda transports you to the southeast corner of the Mediterranean. There is something endearingly archaic about the Levantine food menu here, which effectively covers the wide palate of tastes representing the numerous cultures of this region. With dizzying choices ranging from cold and hot mezze to grills, salads and breads to mains and desserts, the options are plenty. The fluffy, warm Pita bread with Hommos and Mouhamara, is a great way to start. The Tabbouleh is fresh, tangy and crunchy. The Lamb Kibbeh with a crispy crust, is melt-in-the-mouth and well-spiced.
Maffy’s in Colaba, is another delightful place if you love this cuisine.
Signature Smokey Cauliflower Hummus
In a vibrant atmosphere, expect a variety of dishes from salads to pilafs, kebabs and cold and hot mezze. The Baklava Lollipop is undoubtedly a highlight.
In the Western suburbs, Miniya Turk, in Andheri, is quite literally, miniature Turkey. The Moroccan Chicken and Lentil Soup, is mildly flavoured, but palate-pleasing nevertheless. The Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad, offers oodles of crunch and a medley of tangy flavours, which add zing to the taste buds. The Labneh Stuffed Falafel is well-executed and reminiscent of the ones sampled in the region. The Spinach Feta Triangles will melt-in-your-mouth. Abundant options for vegetarians too.
Turkey Central in Juhu too serves Turkish fare in an expansive environment. The hot and cold mezze, kebabs and grilled dishes are a treat.
Arbab, the latest entrant in Bandra, offers Arabic and Middle Eastern food. The Levantine Salad, Fattoush full of exotic veggies, enticingly presented, is popular. The Chicken Shawarma, straight off the rotisserie, is one of the best in the city,
So, savour Turkish flavours in Mumbai from the vast array of options available.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.