Somatcı (note that the letter 'i' is undotted on the end, and it is pronounced "So- maht- juh"), is a nice change from the usual fare. That said, I do agree with another reviewer who commented that the portions are small. They are certainly very small for what you generally get in Turkey. Nevertheless, I do recommend going there, just to experience a nice meal.
The building is like an old home. Some of the rooms offer a traditional large round table and divan-style seating that is basically on the floor. They bill themselves as offering authentic Mevlevi and Ottoman cuisine. While there is some truth to this, I did feel that many of the dishes simply have a more Persian influence. For example, there are many stews served with fruit that are variations of Persian khoresht dishes. The only thing is that the pilaf and bread are more Turkish than Persian. The dishes were more simple than the very complex Ottoman dishes served at restaurants like Çirağan Sarayı in Istanbul. They offer vegetarian dishes, as well as some gluten-free dishes (the latter is something very difficult to find in Turkey).
The meal is first served with a small shot of diluted vinegar and honey, which they explained was the Mevlevi version of şerbet.
Following that, I had:
Cevizli közlenmiş biber çorbası
(Walnut and roasted red pepper soup)
This was a delight, as it was very light and flavourful. Both the peppers and walnuts in Turkey are exquisite.
Nar taneli mevsim salata
(Seasonal salad with pomegranate syrup)
The English version of the menu made it seem like it would have pomegranate seeds, but the dressing was nice.
I had never eaten Tarhana before. It is something like Persian keshk or kurutob, but made with some wheat.
This was nice, but not necessarily remarkable.
This dish is said to be made with a sauce of 12 different root vegetables. It is basically a form of very flavourful roux. The meat was an excellent filet; much higher quality than most kebaps in Turkey. While I enjoyed it very much, I must say that the portion size was VERY small. The meat was probably about 100 grams.
For desert, I had all three that they offered:
(A fig stuffed with walnut)
Somatçı pekmezli ayva tatlısı
The quinces in Turkey are large and fruity, almost like pears.
All washed down with another glass of şerbet of rosewater and some Turkish tea.
Normally, I don't eat deserts in Turkey, as they are very sweet, but these are not the usual sticky baklava, etc. I highly recommend having them.
I would have given this place 5 stars if their portions were larger, especially considering the price. Nevertheless, it was a nice break from the usual fare found in Turkey.
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