Cappadocia & Hanimeli KapadokyaPosted By Jennifer Ho Oct 04 2014 · 0 comments · Dining Out
This summer, we were lucky enough to have spent a bit of time travelling Turkey. Dream destination. Some of the most memorable moments we experienced were in Cappadocia – from the unique, insanely shaped landscapes we saw to the hearty, local foods we ate – not to mention the impossibly beautiful hotel we stayed at (Argos), we could not have asked for a more perfect vacation.
Take the above photo, for example. We woke up at 4AM and spent the early hours touring the Cappadocia area by hot air balloon, giving us access to truly breathtaking views. Our pilot Mike, of Butterfly Balloons, took us for an informative and safe ride – giving us close views of fairy chimneys, dipping us low into the valleys and bringing us high up for bird’s eye views of the region. For those who are planning a similar trip, we highly recommend you check out Butterfly and try to request Mike!
As if riding in hot air balloons wasn’t enough excitement for one day, we visited an underground city typical of the area, climbing several stories deep below the Earth’s surface to see how the natives of the area lived and survived hundreds of years ago.
With hunger beginning to set in, we headed to a local restaurant in Urgup for lunch, recommended by our tour guide. Hanimeli Kapadokya is a fairly new restaurant, opened by a family who previously worked in the Cappadocian tourism industry. With many friends still in the business, news has begun to spread about the place, and it’s not for nothing.
The restaurant is exceedingly friendly to tourists and the staff speaks basic English. We sat down to the set menu, which comes up to around TL40 or CDA20.
Typical Turkish spices of dried oregano, red pepper flakes and sumac were placed at the table, ready for use.
Freshly baked, hot bread was served.
To start, I had the traditional ‘highland meadow’ soup, a sort of comforting, mild but tangy, creamy yogurt soup that felt not unlike a parallel to chicken noodle soup from the West. Whole rice grains sit at the bottom of the bowl, giving it a bit more heft, while mint leaves add a bit of flavor. Delicious!
Then, an assortment of mezzes were served as a preamble to the meal – it was a feast! Traditional Turkish dishes like fried cheese rolls, vegetarian meatballs made of bulgur and tomato paste, a simple Turkish salad, freshly rolled vine leaves and just-pinched manti smothered in yogurt sauce quickly piled on to the table while we looked on, smiling from ear to ear.
After demolishing the starters in a matter of minutes (we were hungry!), we were given a short break before the mains made their appearance.
A few options were presented at the start of the meal – we chose the lamb and the stuffed pepper, both served with baked veggies and rice. At first glance, the dishes look simple – what you get is what you see. But with each bite, you realize that it’s so much more than that as strong flavor profiles begin to emerge. Simple meals are – for the most part – the best meals: this is one that I will remember.
And of course, no Turkish meal is complete without tea (cay), coffee and dessert. Hot cay and thick, unfiltered Turkish coffee served as an accompaniment to the home-made sweets. The freshly made baklava was to die for: delicate phyllo leaves stuffed with finely chopped nuts and pistachios, drizzled with sweet syrup along with a rice pudding dusted with a little bit of cinnamon made for an extremely satisfying end to the meal.
Davutlu Mevkii Yilmaz Sokak
No 14, Mustafapasa Koyu