Friday, December 25, 2009

Hacı Abdullah Lokantası, Istanbul, Turkey

Imam bayıldı and artichoke

One Turkish dish that I definitely had to try on this trip was imam bayıldı, which literally translates into "the imam fainted." Yes, this eggplant dish with garlic, onions, and tomatoes was supposed to be *that* good. And this old place (Sakızağacı Caddesi 17, 0212-293-8561) apparently was one of the best at it, so I hiked up the hill to the İstiklal Caddesi area to see what it was all about.

Clearly my expectations were set a bit too high. Somehow my warped mind mistakenly thought that the garlic and onions in this thing were going to be pushed to such an extreme that I would jump for joy at the borderline spiciness of it all. Instead, it was really just cold eggplant drenched in olive oil topped with a little bit of tomato.

Don't get me wrong - it was very delicious on its own, and probably would be something that this eggplant and antipasto lover would get regularly. But in the end, it (as well as the inverted artichoke heart seen in the background) was really just cold meze rather than any destination in and of itself. Too bad this place didn't serve alcohol either - I was hoping to get some of that anise seed-based rakı stuff to go with it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, my favourite dish in Istanbul was "karniyarik", eggplant stuffed with minced meat, chopped onions and tomatoes, served hot. I am wondering if there's any turkish restaurant in S'pore that has "karniyarik" in their menu?