Review: Turkish Food Festival at Sofitel Mumbai, BKC

Turkey has been on our travel bucket-list for a longtime now. Hiking through Cappadocia, finding a bargain at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, indulge in a traditional Hammam.....the wish list is endless. Another reason to explore Turkey is to savor the delicious food! Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which is a fusion and refinement of Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Think juicy shwarmas, lip smacking Kebabs, piping hot flat breads, flavorsome stews, fresh!

Recently, Sofitel Mumbai BKC in collaboration with Turkish Airlines & The Elysium Istanbul MGallery by Sofitel, launched a ten-day festival to celebrate Turkish food and culture. We decided to do the next best thing before we backpacked across Turkey...visit the festival to savor authentic flavors from Turkey.

Coming all the way from Istanbul, Chefs Emre and Ramazan will offer authentic Turkish favorites to guests through the ten day festival. Local favourites of Turkey such as Piliç Yahni (stew over chicken) Izgara Hamsi (grilled anchovy fish), Çoban Kavurma (shepherd deep fried meat), Kisir (Turkish wheat salad) and more are a part of the menu.

Chefs Emre and Ramazan

Kuzu Tandoor- a fragrant & tender lamb dish

We settled down at Pondicherry Cafe, the all day dining restaurant of Sofitel Mumbai, BKC one afternoon. The entrance of the restaurant was decorated with beautiful Turkish pottery that drew instant attention to a great photo opportunity :D.

We entered the buzzing restaurant & took in the spread which was a fine balance of international favorite & authentic Turkish delicacies. We started with Kabak Dolmasi - stuffed zucchini rolls, Sato potatoes- mashed baby potatoes flavored with saffron, pepper & parsley & Kisir- a traditional side dish in Turkish cuisine. The Chef had experimented a bit with Kisir having replaced the traditional ingredient- Bulgar (broken wheat) with yellow lentils. The other ingredients- tomato paste, pomegranate molasses (for sourness), lemon & parsley remained. Our plates looked colorful & we savored all the delicacies one by one. Kisir, became an instant favorite as it was a great combination of flavors, yet not very heavy; unlike other lentil dishes.

Next we tried Mantar Dolmasi - cheese stuffed button mushrooms & Kalamar Tava - batter fried calamari that instantly made us think about sitting at a seafront restaurant on a bright summer day in Turkey :D.

Mantar Dolmasi

Kalamar Tava

For the main course, we tried Tavuk Yahni- chicken stew cooked with potato, onion & tomato paste & Bursa Iskender- lamb cooked with tomato puree with Bulgar Pilavi - a classic Turkish pilaf dish with a beautiful tangy taste of tomato paste- a must try!!

For desserts do try Muhallebi- a creamy Turkish custard served garnished with nuts (mostly pistachios)


Where: Pondicherry Cafe,Sofitel Mumbai, BKC
From: 17th to 26th March, 2017

What You Pay For a Meal:
Lunch: INR 2,470 (plus taxes)
Dinner: INR 2,555 (plus taxes)


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