Review: Lahm Meshwi, Batata Hara and more feature in Cafe Mezzuna's anniversary special Turkish trail menu

Café Mezzuna is ushering in its seventh anniversary with an excellent curation of Turkish delicacies and you can’t afford to miss it

author_img Ujjainee Roy Published :  06th December 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  06th December 2019 12:00 AM

Stone grilled chicken at Mezzuna

It’s been seven years since Café Mezzuna started serving us the entire breadth of the complex and utterly unmissable Mediterranean cuisine, which is also a genre that was left unexplored by Kolkattan gourmands. The trattoria-style casual diner helped us move beyond our pizzas and spaghetti to delve deeper into the rich culinary traditions which exist in and around Europe, by combining Italian, Turkish, Spanish, Lebanese and French nuances and flavours as part of their menu.

Lebanese wrap at Mezzuna

For its 7th anniversary, the eatery is hosting a fantastic Turkish trail where you can explore some not-so-accessible authentic Turkish numbers; the curation makes for a fantastic pre-winter menu as you can gorge on some intense seasonal flavours. The menu features some contemporary and some rather elaborate numbers which you can only expect to find in very few spots across the city.

Chicken Turkish shish at Mezzuna

We started things off with  a serving of Char Grilled Zahara which is essentially a Middle Eastern roasted cauliflower wrap , made with pickled onions; luckily it has a crunchy, chewable consistency but it’s not fried, which makes it more sustainable as an appetiser. The Curried Batata Hara is another beloved shawarma-style roll you’ll find on the menu, which is made with harissa-marinated baby potatoes and garlic labneh.

We found some incredible Orzo pasta at Mezzuna

The kebabs are of course, a huge draw in any Turkish spread; we found some popular skewered varieties like the Lahm Meshwi, which is a charcoal grilled minced lamb served with mint and zatar, the latter being a delicious Middle Eastern blended condiment. We gorged quite excessively on the Prawn Chermoula, a preparation that was kept simple with a relish of parsley and coriander, to let the profile of the seafood shine through.

The chermoula-style of marination is fast gaining relevance in the city, especially in brunch bars and mid-day cocktails. The North African technique adds a very interesting and wholesome punch to any meat or seafood entrée. 

The Makboush al Dijaj at Mezzuna

The Turkish chicken shish was an uncomplicated number, with a simple and creamy garlic sauce marination. A helpful tip: pair it with a nice, rested chardonnay. In the ‘Tagine’ section of the Turkish Trail, we discovered some unconventional delicacies like the slow-cooked Orzo Pasta made with some seasonal veggies. The Makboush al Dijaj is a Bahraini specialty, which we almost never see on any local menu; the fantastic entrée is a play on your standard chicken and rice meal and features fragrant rice cooked in milk and saffron and served with slow-cooked baby chicken.

There’s also some mint-flavoured Turkish rice on the menu, which can serve as a palate cleanser, and for dessert you can find Ataif Makhli, which is a stuffed Turkish pastry filled with ricotta and nuts. Price for two: Rs 1,600