Small secrets of Istanbul – a Surprise in Ortakoy
This post is part of the series “Small secrets of Istanbul” where I talk about magical non-mainstream restaurants, cafes and places in Istanbul. These places are not easy to be discovered if you’re visiting for a few days or even few weeks. Istanbul is huge and you need someone who knows Istanbul to show you places that are not on a regular tourist road, but the ones that you will truly remember for the rest of your lives.
I lived in Istanbul for a year and a half and most of that time I spent exploring and walking around Istanbul. It was an amazing time that I will never forget. I walked kilometres after kilometres on the Bosphorus, always astounded by the beauty of it. There are things in this world that can never leave you without a reaction. Bosphorus is one of those places. Even now, when I visit Istanbul, one of the main things that I will do is just walk from Beşiktaş, to Ortaköy, Kuruçeşme, Arnavutköy, Bebek, all the way to Rumelihisarı. If you have never been to Istanbul before, please, don’t miss this walk. Yes, I know, everything needs time and probably;y you will not spend 10 days only in Istanbul, as today’s pace of life usually doesn’t give us that luxury, but I advise you, if you can, give yourself a gift of walking along the Bosphorus. It’s something you will never forget.
Always something new in Istanbul
Now, why I am talking about it, it’s because even now after I lived in Istanbul and visited it multiple times, I always discover something new in these walks. Just a few days ago I went with my family for a short visit to Istanbul. As we did one of the most important things, our Bosphorus walk, we arrived at Ortaköy, a colourful and wonderful place to visit, take photos or just sit on a bench and observe life around.
My husband and I wanted to eat something sweet and we started exploring the options and then my husband remembered that there was some place where they make wonderful sütlaç.
What is sütlaç and what is so special about it
Sütlaç is a kind of a rice pudding with milk, a popular Turkısh dessert that I probably ate millions of times before and I like it and would eat it always actually. So we decided to try and find that small and authentic restaurant. We arrived to this small authentic restaurant, famous for kuru fasulye (a famous Turkish dish made of beans) and sütlaç. It is just a little inland from the Ortakoy’s coast.
While ordering sütlaç a man asked us if we want a honey over it. I said, of course, even I never heard of that combination, but if he asked us it means it must be some special combination.
So … the man brings us THE SÜTLAÇ.
I swear I have never eaten something like that. Maybe my feelings are a bit exaggerated because I am 8 months pregnant, BUT! The bowl of sütlaç comes with a heaping amount of hazelnut dust AND honey over it. When I started eating it I thought I died and went directly to heaven. A wonderful mixture of a full-fat milk, cooked rice, hazelnuts and honey from the Black Sea region in Turkey.
Give yourself this treat
If you love yourself and people you’re traveling with and I know you probably do, you should give yourself and them this treat. If you don’t
have enough time to visit Ortaköy and this authentic restaurant, then try to make it for yourself at home. It’s easy and I am sure you will enjoy it.
If you have time while visiting Istanbul, try and visit Ortaköy. While you’re there take my advice and just walk up the big street that goes from the middle of Ortaköy to inland. After just about 5 minutes of walking (while walking observe the life on that busy street and crazy Turkish traffic :)), on your right-hand side, on a corner, you will see this little and magical place called – Ortaköy Kurufasulyeci.
Order first kuru fasulye if you’re hungry and then order the king of the desserts – sütlaç WITH hazelnuts and honey over it.
Let me know how you liked it 🙂
This was the story about a newly discovered taste of an old school Turkish dessert. This is the proof that our world is full of wonders which are waiting for us on every corner. Just keep your eyes and hearts open and the good things will come.
Have you tried sütlaç before? If you have, have you tried it with hazelnuts and honey? If not, be my guest, take the recipe and give yourself some love.
Leave the comments in the box below. I would love to hear your impressions about sütlaç and if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer.
Wish you all happy taste buds and full hearts!