22 February 2016

Turkish Breakfast Review - Gakkı

My breakfast adventures continue with Gakkı in Karaköy. The Karaköy neighborhood has quickly become one of the hippest neighborhoods in Beyoğlu and boasts seemingly limitless cafes and restaurants. It's narrow streets canopied with vines and fairy lights and street art decorated walls make this lively little area an inviting area to sip coffee or dine indoors and out.

However on this cold winter morning we took refuge inside the tiny space Gakkı occupies. Inside there are three tables reminiscent of the Three Bears' house-one that's big (6 people), one medium (4-5 people), and one small two-seater. They also have two tables outside but on a morning like this that was not only cold but on-and-off snowing we took over the big table.

The more people you have for Turkish breakfast the better because that means you can order more food. Sharing this adventure were E&M, a visiting friend of theirs, and my awesome neighbor, R. We split the Serpme Kahvaltı (Country Breakfast): five different kinds of cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers, tomato paste, two jams, the famous bal kaymak, sigara böreği, fried eggs, olives, smoked meat, and two cups of tea. To round it off we also ordered their kavurmalı sahanda to see how it stacked up against Çakmak's, and hıçın.

R and I each took a tea and the other three ordered coffees. The coffee isn't made at Gakkı but comes from next door Coffeesapiens. The coffee was ok but like many places in Turkey still needs a little work.  There is a difference between a cappuccino and a latte and the difference is not the glass in which it's served.

Breakfast was lovely. The country breakfast was a good variety of things for us all to share. The sahanda (fried eggs) were nice but Çakmak's kavurmalı sahanda were undeniably better-and half the price. The hıçın were interesting-fried dough filled with a cottage cheese-like substance and potatoes served with a side of sour cherry jam and kaymak. Despite the involvement of potatoes, they weren't overly savory but the flavors all balanced very nicely. Turkey is really the king, or should I say sultan? of pairing sweet and savory well.

The hıçın

For me the real stand out was the orange jam (reçel). Turkish jams are not like anything we have in America; they're more like preserved fruits in syrup. Gakkı gave us orange and quince but for me the orange stole the show because it was more than just some candied orange peel in syrup...it was candied orange peel in cinnamon syrup. Genius. 

I liked Çakmak and Kahve 6 better but Gakkı is definitely worth another visit!

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi

Kılıç Ali Paşa Mescidi Sokak, No 10/B

Beyoğlu, İstanbul

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