Sunday, 17 April 2011

Istanbul Restaurants:Akdeniz Kokorec

Again I'd like to thank the brilliant Istanbul Eats for turning me onto this place.

I like to take every opportunity to champion offal.  I think eating the whole animal (in one sitting if I can) is crucial in limiting waste and the damage caused by mass farming.  I also think it's more respectful.  Imagine my joy then when I found out about kokorec an enormous sausage stuffed with lamb fat and sweetbreads inside a thick outer casing of wound sheep's intestines.  Imagine my even greater joy when this - admittedly slightly unappetising sounding dish - turned out to be absolutely delicious.

The kokorec though is huge and spit roast, too much even for me.  The way it's served isn't, therefore whole, or even in slices.  It's chopped up fairly fine and mixed with chopped tomatoes and green chillis and fried on a grill.  The sweetness and sharpness of the tomato and the bitter earthiness of the chilli goes really well with the rich fatty meat.  I don't use rich and fatty lightly here, this is probably a once a month dish at best for the health concious.  But, it's definitely worth it.  The intestines don't provide much flavour but they give a lovely chewy resistance to the whole thing.

The place I tried it was Akdeniz Kokorec on Galap Dede Cd near Galata Tower and I can't recommend it enough.  The place was tiny so it was nice that the guy serving was extremely friendly.  Most importantly the food was great.  Go and enjoy it, don't over think what it is if your not an offal fan, it's just delicious.

A portion of kokorec and a water cost around £4.50

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