A Timeless Taste in Istanbul: Goreme Muhallebicisi
If Istanbul is a big caldron where different cultures come together, then the town Kurtuluş is one of the most important parts of this multiculturalism. It’s a town open to Catholics, Jews, and Armenians, Greek and French people of our country where Muslims are the majority. It’s a unique parcel of the beautiful Istanbul mosaic. This peaceful atmosphere is also reflected in their food culture. There are various different lunchrooms, restaurants, delicatessen, dessert shops where you can find the best examplesof Greek mezes, Armenian food, and traditional Turkish cuisine. One of them is Goreme Muhallebicisi running for years in Kurtuluş.
A simple yet tasty Menemen
Goreme Muhallebicisi has a quite simple breakfast menu. As there are not many varieties, it’s easy to make a decision. Their menemen is not as interesting as to be the best menemen ever, but it’s not bad at all. However, the skin of tomatoes is a bit problematic. They make menemen without peeling off the skin. Except that, their tomatoes are juicy, and they’re cooked well. It’s a plus that they haven’t served me this dish dry. As a result, you could sop your bread in eggs as well as tomato. Isn’t it the best thing about menemen, sopping your bread in eggs?
Endless Varieties of Dishes from Chicken
Actually, as a nation we don’t really consume much chicken. Red meat is always our first preference. Since when people heard that red meat is not good for you, chicken has been getting more popular. If you look at it, although small in size, with its eggs, meat, and fat it’s quite nutritious. Göreme Muhallenicisi makes delicious chicken broth soup, and pilaf with chicken and desserts such as tavukgöğsü( a dessert made form the breast of a chicken) from hormone-free chickens that live in their natural habitat. Pilav with chicken is the favourite of the town as well as other Istanbulites. It’s cooked with butter and the rice is of high quality Baldo rice and is cooked well. They add organic chicken breast on top. When I eat pilaf with chicken, I prefer it to be rather oily. Therefore, when it’s only chicken breast, I find a bit too dry. If they mixed up breast with thigh meat, perhaps the taste level would increase. Water buffalo yogurt I order is so delicious. It has a lot of cream, and is served in an ice-cold , pretty casserole plate. That’s the only thing that can accompany pilaf with chicken. This is a simple yet famous dish from a tradesmen lunchroom. Goreme Muhallebicisi makes it really good, despite the fact that it lacks fat.
Tavuk Göğsü is Delicious!
Goreme Muhallebicisi is a place that initially started with desserts, as you can understand from the name (muhallebi means pudding in Turkish). They’ve been making simple yet delicious recipes since 1960s, from one generation to another, contributing to the branding of the place meanwhile. Now they have another branch in Nişantaşı. But I think that it’s not the same as the one in Kurtuluş. They will soon have another branch in Bomonti. I hope this development won’t affect the quality of their taste. These local places are rare now. I haven’t tasted all milk puddings that have made them famous. From what I’ve tasted, sütlaç (rice pudding) is quite good. However, Tavukgöğsü, is one of the best I’ve ever had. The breast is crushed very well. There’s nothing disturbing in the dessert. It’s neither in the consistency of pudding as their weak rivals make, nor sticky, nor disturbing. It’s the best it can be. For those who like the burnt taste, I’d recommend them to taste Kazandibi.
I believe the weakest link in the chain at Goreme Muhallebicisi is Menemen. I think it’s not on the level of the standards of this excellent lunchroom. I will visit them again to taste their rice with chicken. I’m sure they are consistent, but I wonder if I can taste it better one day. There’s nothing to say about desserts. They are perfect. I hope such small local businesses as Goreme Muhallebicisi, local artisans and tradesmen restaurant that fill up the stomachs f these artisans can serve for Istanbulites for many years…
Address: Kurtuluş Cd. No:60 SiSli -Istanbul
Tel: 212 246 53 67