Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a delicious discovery

Cihangir is a veritable maze of teeny-tiny winding streets, with treasures hidden around every corner. I just so happened to be walking down a street I've walked dozens of times, and noticed this charming little restaurant for the very first time, Hanımeli.

Hanımeli, which I just learned means honeysuckle, is so small that I bet you could only fit about twenty people inside, if you were squeezed tightly. You feel like you've been invited into someone's home, and that you're about to sit down to a warm and delicious home-cooked meal. The dining room is cosy, separated from the kitchen (which looks like my mum's kitchen) by a glass case of cold dishes, warm dishes placed tantalisingly on top. Ooh and the smell that greets you is incredible— dill, hot tomatoes and sweet onions.

I discovered Hanımeli while walking around with Javier the other day, and decided to bring two of my newest friends, Gyl and Tia to try it out. The life of a travelling nomad is a marvellous one— you never know where you'll end up and who you are going to meet. While in Budapest, I had the pleasure of meeting two fabulous travelling ladies, Molly and Nancy, and last week I got an email from Molly's friend Gyl, saying that she and Tia were coming to Istanbul and wanted to meet up. This is what I love most about my life— meeting new people, hearing new stories, discovery. After showing off my favourite Cihangir çaybahçesi, Gyl, Tia and I walked around the corner for some amazing stuffed zucchini, köfte and soup.

Seriously, look at that. Not only did my stomach love me, but the fact that each plate is around five lira, makes my artist's wallet happy too— and the owners/cooks of the restaurant are so sweet, the whole experience left me feeling warm.

Hanımeli Ev Yemekleri
Ağahamam Caddesi No.6A Firuzağa / Cihangir / İSTANBUL
0 212 245 98 78

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