Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Turkiye 2012, Part 1.5: Istanbullian Nights

Last picture before darkness fell.
Reading the title of this post you'd think I was making an Evangelion reference. I'm not, really. It's just that I am an incredibly lazy busy person- oh look, 3 more hours till midnight, when I have to biologically clock out or risk waking up the next day in a zombie-like state-  which is why I've decided to keep this short, especially since it's really the last bit of my previous post in this series of Turkey travelogues. Given the pace I'm going at it'll be quite long, but what the heck.
As I mentioned in Part 1, I'd arrived in Istanbul several hours ahead of the rest- dad, aunt, two uncles, and cousin. Henceforth for the sake of convenience and confidentiality they will be referred to by their, ah, professions. Dad is Writer; aunt, Accountant; the two uncles, Artist and Gambler; cousin, Pianist. By virtue of being me I get to refer to myself with the quaint pronoun known as "I". Author's right.

I had time to kill, having gotten fed up with the intermittent rain. I alternated between pacing around the hotel lobby and stepping outdoors without a jacket, wondering if anyone would call me a fruitcake for doing so in such cold weather. Nobody did, either because they thought nothing of it, or because I jumped back indoors before they could tut in disapproval.

Due to forgetfulness and a certain amount of bad luck, they arrived a little later than expected, close to 7pm. The Artist had actually managed to get himself airsick without the help of turbulence, and had to skip the complimentary dinner provided by the hotel.
Appetizer: Shrimp stew
Dinner was at Pasazade, the hotel's very own restaurant, and possibly one of the few restaurant's serving Ottoman cuisine in Istanbul. Don't even bother ordering a kebab here, you'll be spoiled for choice outside. Each of us was given a choice of an appetizer, a main, and a dessert. No drinks, though.

The shrimp stew pictured above was served on a sort of hot pot with a fire beneath it. No eating it straight out of the pot- a waiter was on hand to scoop it onto my plates.
Main: Beef / lamb kebab.
Don't order kebab here, I said, but the Pianist just had to. To be fair to him I didn't tell him so, since I wasn't suffering from over-consumption of Kebab at that point. That white stuff covering it? Yogurt, I think. No waiter to help with this one- move your own hands.
Appetizer: ...Well, something.
Uh. I can't recall the name of this one. Judging from the size of the dish it's most likely an appetizer- though I could be wrong. "Eriste" with walnuts, perhaps? Oh bother. Go read their menu on the link above and make a guess.
Interlude: Candle holder.
A brief break from the food. The decor wasn't overdone, but it wasn't drab, either. Just nice, I suppose. Most places just aren't able to handle the thematic urge. One side of the restaurant had a false facade of a building built onto it, but it didn't dominate everything else. This being an Ottoman restaurant I couldn't help but wonder what was Ottoman about it besides the menu- I really couldn't say.
Main: Papaz Yahni.
That's Gambler with his main- Papaz Yahni, or Priest Stew, so named because it was mainly served to priests while they fasted. Gambler's no priest, but he did like this dish, and he's got pretty high standards. I tasted a bit and it was indeed quite nice. Best of all, it's different from pretty much everything else you'll eat in Istanbul- i.e, kebab, kebab, kebab.
Main: Ottoman Duck Stew.
Accountant with her main- Ottoman Duck Stew. It was nice enough, but not good enough for her, apparently. "Peking Duck tastes better", she said... there's definitely more meat in the latter, and that's all I can say- since I can't remember how the two fare against each other.
Dessert: ...Something.
Here's Writer with... something yellow. Most likely dessert, I think, though I have no idea what. Whatever it was, it was too sweet for him- though he doesn't really have a sweet tooth.
Dessert: Something with ice cream.
Dessert. Ah, rice pudding with ice cream? Or was it baklava with ice cream? Oh bother. That's what you get for not taking notes. Then again, just you try taking notes during dinnertime. It was rather soft and wet, if I remember right, though. Rice pudding, then?
Dessert: Baklava, I suppose.
...which would make this one the baklava. Again- much too sweet. Even for me it was too much- sugar overload. Luckily I don't suffer from... 'sugar rush', as it's popularly known, whatever it's scientific name is. The desserts we've had so far- definitely not diabetic friendly.
Dessert: Probably...
Sultan's Milk Pudding with Mastic. I think. The only reason I'm able to name it is the chocolate- it's the only dessert on the menu with chocolate in it. On it. This is what I ordered, along with Pianist. Again, too sweet, though it was a pretty sight.
Blue Mosque at night.
We went for a long walk after that- the huge dinner made it necessary. This here's the Blue Mosque- that's Sultan Ahmet Camii in Turkish- no entry this late, obviously. Blue Mosque's just a nickname, in case you don't know already.
In Mirrors I Trust. None at this point.
Meanwhile here's yours truly looking like an absolute idiot (in Bold for those of you who just look at the pictures without reading) in a jacket that doesn't belong to me. It looked slightly better with the zip and the hood down, but I gave it back anyway after a long hard look at myself in a mirror.
Thumbs up for Stone Spikes.
And here's Pianist with the Obelisk of Theodosius in the background. I'm pretty sure I named it right, at least. Somehow this place just reminds me of the Washington Monument in DC- not that I've ever been there.
Heart on a Plate.
Time to end this post- after walking around the Blue Mosque we headed back to the hotel. It was late and they needed their sleep. This last photo was taken back in Pasazade- it's what was left of my dessert. It's what always happens to my plate when there's enough chocolate on it, and nothing else, but Accountant thought it was an actual dish... not my best artwork, but that makes it good enough to use as a closing picture, I suppose. 


No comments:

Post a Comment