So, this restaurant is at the Grand Bazaar. The bazaar is a tourist attraction so eateries there must be tourist traps, right? Well, apparently not so. At least, not every restaurant there is a tourist trap. Yes, there are sub-par restaurants at the bazaar that cater to the millions of tourists that visit daily. But, the bazaar is not only a place for tourists. It is a place where shopkeepers from the 4000+ shops gather to spend their working days everyday throughout the year. Surely they have to eat and they eat at the bazaar too. They just know the right place to eat at the bazaar. Escape the hustle and bustle and go to Cebeci Han where a quiet courtyard is. At the courtyard are several small shops either doing carpet repair, serving tea, or food.
The dining room only seats two tables. It's a hole-in-the-wall but a very lovely and warm place surrounded by bamboo walls, Turkish patterned table cloth and cushions on the seats. Kara Mehmet seats most of the customers at the outdoor tables facing the courtyard. Our server barely spoke English but he tried his very best to understand us in his most friendly manner. With some gestures and basic Turkish words we learned for this trip, we managed the interaction well. For drinks, you can order tea or Turkish coffee and the drinks will be brought over from the tea house next door.
The very kind owner generously brought a plate of ground aubergine to our table with compliments of the house. Right after he placed the aubergine on our table, with his bare hands he picked up the pieces of flatbread inside the basket that was served to us previously by his employee and then replaced them with warm flatbread which he held in his other hand. What a lovely, lovely gesture that we appreciated very much. It was a cold and wet day but this place was warm all around to the heart and stomach.
The known spicy adana kebap was worth savoring during every bite. They have a non-spicy kebap but I recommend the adana kebap which is actually not too spicy anyway. Every part of the meat was moist, juicy, and flavorful with a very slight hint of lemon squeezed over it during the grilling process. The resulting taste was excellent without a heavy meatiness. The side of fresh vegetables was light and fresh with a citrus dressing. The lentil soup was good too. At the end of the meal, we were satisfied people but without the sluggish feeling after a full lunch.
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