Taste of Turkey Day


Turkish food isn't something which would initially spring to the forefront of my mind when considering eating out in London - it's notorious for the kebabs, but what about everything else?

It's a cuisine one doesn't normally consider as fine dining - and despite the kebabs usually being great whilst you're scoffing them at 3am after a night-out at Infernos - I feel it's somewhat damaged the representation of their cuisine. 

Turkey was a holiday destination my family loved as a child - it truly was beautiful. Although we holidayed in the notoriously tourist area of Olu Deniz it was still beautiful and the car journeys to the slightly more rural destinations are fond memories of a country I love. 

I was recently invited to an event, sponsored by Pinar, called Taste of Turkey. The event was to showcase the incredible food and produce Turkey has to offer - which isn't just kebab if you're wondering. From restaurant owners to wine merchants - all produced in Turkey - this really was the perfect experience to fully open my eyes to exactly what is on offer.

Given I used to be incredibly fussy as a child - I never tried much of the cuisine and often stuck with the touristy options of salad, meat and anything else incredibly British. 

This night was the perfect opportunity for me to experience a snippet of what I'd missed out on - without having to spend money on heading on holiday.

Held at Brand Exchange - a building co-owned by Dialogue Agency - the day was a chance for everyone to experience a little bit of Turkey. With their breakfast, and all day food, for those who wanted to attend creating quite the storm on social media I was excited to head to their evening event.

Greeted with Turkish champagne - I usually hate champagne but this was delicious -alongside the tradition Turkish coffee and entrees including spicy couscous. The champagne was sweeter than usual - it was almost too drinkable. 

Not long after we were seated in a larger room - there was a host of people there from Turkish natives to bloggers to members of the Turkish embassy. 

For this particular event they had arranged for people to talk us through the cuisine, and country, providing both myself and friend, David from Custard Magazine, a bit more information about the culture. 

Ozlem from ozlemsturkishtable.com was one of my favourite speakers - she talked us through each region of Turkey and what specific food they offer. Aubergine appears to be a firm favourite of the nation know for unhealthier food - who knew?

During we were also provided with wine - I opted for white - which were carefully selected by Melisa Atay from melisafinebrands.co.uk. I am guilty of enjoying wine perhaps a little too much (I didn't gain 2 stone in 8 months from just eating, come on) and without a shadow of a doubt this was one of my favourites I've tried. Cursed with having a sweet tooth - it was perfect for me. 

Our food was prepared by Huseyin Ozer's restaurant Sofra (sofra.co.uk) to which we started with a selection of starters; breads, dips, meat. My favourite was the lamb and the spicy couscous. The main was an aubergine mashed  (the consistency was much like porridge with a mild taste) topped with lamb, which was tender. Sofra offer a whole host of different foods in their restaurants in Mayfair and Oxford Street. I, for one, cannot wait to go back.

The dessert was a weird one - a soft cheese in a sweet pastry topped with a sugary caramel sauce. The cheese, from Pinar, combined with the sweetness was something which, in all seriousness, made me feel uncomfortable and apprehensive. I struggle with the concept of sweet and savoury - but I was pleasantly surprised when it tasted incredible. I need to find a place which stocks the cheese...#AllOfTheFood 

Turkish food really isn't something to be overlooked and overshadowed by, perhaps, more mainstream cuisines such as Thai. For a cuisine which has so many flavours from so many regions it's surprising to see many people tarring it with one brush - I was guilty of it before experiencing a mere snippet of what they have to offer when it comes to food and wine. 

If you want any further information about Taste of Turkey day head here: https://tasteofturkeyday.splashthat.com/


  1. Wow You must have a great time. That really looks delicious.


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