Hilton Bangalore's Turkish food festival is more than just mezze platters, here's what to expect
The setting was perfect at the Ministry of Food. Turkey flags hung from the walls and food stations, while tunes from the Turkish long-necked flute, baglama saz, played in the background. We were at Hilton Bangalore Embassy Golflinks to experience the Afiyet Olsun (meaning bon appétit) Turkish Food Festival.
Curated by chef de partie Sedat Hamarat from Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus, the spread showcases the best of Turkish cuisine — kebabs, salads, mezzes, breads and soups. We started our meal with the Kisir (Bulgur Salad). The Kisir, made with cracked and parboiled wheat, marinated with lime and red chilli, and topped with mint, provided the perfect opening for an elaborate dinner. The citrusy and refreshing flavours were perfect for the warm evening.
We then sampled the Ezogelin Soup — a staple in Turkey, that’s made with bulgur and red lentils. The thick and warm broth was in complete contrast to the salad. The lentils and bulgur were cooked to perfection, making the texture smooth. From the kebabs, we tried the signature chicken Turkish Kebab. This was a palate pleaser with its juiciness and the hint of smokiness went well with yogurt marination. We paired this with a flat bread and the combination was apt.
We tried the Lamb Papaz Yahni from the mains. A lamb stew cooked with onions, spring onions, carrots and herbs, this was more like comfort food. Although the spices used were limited, the herbs added flavour to the clear stew. The mutton was cooked well and was falling off the bones. It paired well with pita bread too. From the vegetarian dishes, we recommend the Vegetable Turlu — a stew cooked with crushed potatoes, scallions, eggplant, beans and carrots. The warm flavours of the Turkish spices made this a hit. However, the highlight of our dinner was the Turkish Pide — an oval flat bread stuffed with minced lamb and topped with melted cheese. It is usually referred to as the Turkish Pizza. This is a must try.
A food festival would be incomplete without an elaborate dessert menu, and Afiyet Olsun goes beyond expectations to offer a variety of authentic desserts. From the spread, we tried the Tahini Halva and the Cherry Pudding.
The Tahini Halva, made with ground tahini, butter, flour and sugar was delicious. The cherry pudding with its grainy texture and fresh cherry flavour was also interesting. With a mix of authentic Turkish dishes and a medley of flavours, Afiyet Olsun is certainly worth a try.
Rs 1,800++ upwards. Until June 21. At Embassy Golf Links Business Park