Welcome with Mürver, Elder Flower Sherbet
In traditions where alcohol consumption is prohibited, hundreds of varieties of sherbets are made to suit every season, derived from flowers, fruits, and plant roots. The concept of sherbet was introduced to Europe as "Sorbet".
Bean Fritter: Inspired by the Ottoman Empire's first printed cookbook, MELCEÜT TABBHIN, this dish is a fritter ball made of beans, eggs, flour, and herbs, cooked in extra virgin olive oil.
Babagannuş: The only item on our menu containing tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. These vegetables only arrived in Anatolia in the 17th century and became kitchen staples by the 19th century.
Mastava (Chard Cacık): Yogurt, a staple in Anatolian cuisine and one of the few Turkish words that has made its way West, is used in this 15th-century Ottoman-inspired cold, creamy soup made with strained yogurt, chard, garlic, and olive oil, topped with beneficial nigella sativa seeds, also known as black cumin.
Crispy Simit-Topik: Simit, a sesame ring bread dating back to the Seljuk cuisine of the 12th century and a mainstay of caravans, first appears in Ottoman archives in the 16th century. Topik, a labor-intensive dish prepared by Ottoman Armenians for Easter celebrations, is made with chickpeas, tahini, and onions, and seasoned generously. I learned the original recipe from my mother-in-law, Sona. Traditionally eaten cold, our stone oven adaptation adds a cosy touch of winter.
Liver Tava, Edirne Style: Edirne, the second capital of the Ottomans after Bursa. The recipe from the book "Aşçıların Sığınağı" (the cooks shelter) involves marinating famous Thracian lamb and beef liver with salt and onions, then fried in hot oil, served with parsley and onions.
Stuffed Melon: A feast dish prepared for the circumcision ceremonies of the sons of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The recipes often feature a combination of sweet and savory, with meat cooked with dry fruits, cinnamon, and cloves. Our main dish is a melon stuffed with rice, minced meat, leaf fillet, almonds, pistachios, raisins, coriander, dill, and parsley, slowly baked in a stone oven.
Ottoman Salad: A salad made with various fresh garden herbs, enriched with raw almonds and dry fruits, and notably lacking tomatoes and cucumbers.
Pickles: The Ottoman cookbooks feature 14 different pickle recipes, including those of raw fish and çagla (green almonds, plums).
Light Cold Ashure: This special dessert traces back to the Prophet Noah. It's said to be a celebratory dessert made from the remaining provisions after his ark landed on Mount Ararat. In Islamic tradition, it's prepared during Muharram, the first month of the religious calendar, and distributed to the poor and neighbors. Sultan Abdulaziz's Balkan-origin mother, Petevniyal Sultan, famously prepared and distributed her own Ashure. It contains wheat, sugar, honey, dry legumes, and all kinds of dry fruits.
Homemade Rose Ice Cream: Rosewater is commonly used in many Ottoman desserts.
Sirkencibün Sherbet: A favorite of the mystical Islamic poet and Sufi mystic Rumi, who reportedly drank a glass of this sherbet daily. Recommended for digestion and health, it is made with honey, homemade vinegar, cinnamon, and cloves.