The Ultimate Istanbul Turkish Food Tour – JUICY Kokoreç, Balık Ekmek (Fish Sandwich), and Lahmacun!

– There were a lot of foods
that I was really excited
to eat when I came to
Istanbul, but this one dish
which is called kokorec
is one of the things
I cannot wait to try and
I’m gonna try it right now.
(upbeat music)
Good morning, everyone, it’s Mark Wiens
in Istanbul, Turkey.
Walking through Taksim Square now
and we are on our way to go eat breakfast.
(chill music)
Walking through Istikal
Street at 7:45 in the morning,
it is nice and quiet.
(chill music)
We came to this restaurant
which is just off
Istikal Street and they
are famous especially
for serving menemen which
is a type of egg dish.
It’s chicken with eggs.
– Thank you.
– Thank you.
I ordered a dish called
menemen which is Turkish
scrambled eggs and I got the one
with Turkish sausage as well.
It looks beautiful, it came
to our table sizzling hot,
just boiling over.
There are peppers and tomatoes
and the sausage in here.
Before I dig in the
bread, I just gotta go in
with my fork.
Wow, look at that texture.
It’s almost like gravy in texture.
That really smells like chorizo and eggs.
Oh that Turkish sausage.
I have a feeling this
is just gonna be like
a sponge of fire so I’m
gonna let it cool down
for a little bit.
Mm-hm, oh wow.
That’s awesome.
Yeah, it’s like, it’s only half
cooked, just lightly cooked
so it remains really,
really moist and juicy.
And then that Turkish
sausage is brilliant.
A little bit spicy and then the texture
of that egg is unbelievable.
Let me follow that with
a little bit of tea.
Hot tea and then let me try my next bite
with some bread.
Whoa, that’s some pretty solid bread.
And then you take pieces
of bread, break off a piece
and I’m gonna go with kind
of a scoop and mop method.
Oh yeah, you need to get a
close up of this texture.
Just come to look at that,
it’s almost like cottage
cheese in texture.
That is awesome and I don’t
think there’s any cheese.
At first I thought there was cheese
but I don’t think
there’s any cheese in it.
Got a little salad here
with tomatoes and chilies
and maybe that’s olive oil.
Yeah, this is very light.
I think olive oil and maybe
just a little squeeze of lemon.
And then this one is another
very common Turkish breakfast
kind of spread.
I think it is the
clotted cream with honey.
You take a little bit of this.
I think with some honey,
clotted cream and honey.
That’s like rich and
creamy and honey sweet.
I think that is cream but it
has a butter texture to it.
I also got some olives and
I think this is cheese.
Let me taste an olive.
Oh yeah.
It’s like a little bit
of a withered olive,
it’s almost like a raisin olive.
I think I’ll go in with an olive as well
all in one bite.
Take out the pit.
It’s quite a salty cheese
and then it’s very soft
and spreadable and then that
combination with the olive
makes it taste really good.
This is like a completely new style of egg
that I’ve ever had.
That was an amazing way to start the day.
That Turkish sausage
just flavored the entire
scrambled eggs and I love that texture
of the scrambled eggs.
When we came in here it
was a little bit quiet,
now it’s packed.
It is still a nice quiet
morning in Istanbul.
We are walking down the
hill towards Galata Kulesi
which is the Galata Tower.
(chill music)
It cost 25 lira for entrance to the top
and we are getting into the elevator now
to go to the top for the view.
(chill music)
It was built in 1348 in a
medieval Roman-esque style
and at the time that it was built,
it was the tallest building in Istanbul.
What you do is you just take
an elevator to the top here
and then walk to the top and
you can get a full 360 view
of the city.
What’s really great about this place
is just it gives you a sense
of the magnitude of Istanbul.
You can hear the birds,
you can really sense
the contrast of the
ancient city to the modern.
You have amazing views of
the Bosphorus sparkling
in the sunshine, the boats.
Over in the distance, across this way,
you can see the Ayasofya
and the Blue Mosque.
Just some incredible views from here
and what I like about it
is you have a 360 view,
you can walk all the way around.
(chill music)
I’m glad we went to the
tower right as they opened
because it was really quiet.
I can imagine that if it’s really busy,
it will take away from the
ambiance and the amazing views.
You’ll probably be rushed up there.
By going right as they open,
that was a fantastic idea.
I enjoyed those views.
They also have a restaurant at the top
but it’s pretty overpriced.
So we are now heading
down to the water’s edge.
We had some great views of
the bridge from the tower
and now we are walking
across the Galata Bridge.
This is an inlet of
water from the Bosphorus.
The Bosphorus is over that
side, but this is called
the Halic which in English
is sometimes referred
to as the Golden Horn because
of the way it’s shaped.
It’s another major waterway in Istanbul.
It connects the old part
of Istanbul with the part
of Istanbul that we’re staying in.
We are walking across it by foot.
The water is such a deep blue color.
Along this bridge, it’s especially
a favorite fishing spot.
(chill music)
Walking across this bridge,
you can smell the aroma
of the sea breeze, you can
smell a little bit of fish
in the air.
It makes me just wanna hang
out and go fishing all day long
and then eat the fish.
Then over there on the
top of the hill there,
that is the Galata Tower
where we just were.
Sit right there, no?
Finished walking across the
bridge and there is a treat
at the end.
There are some well known boats
that serve a fish sandwich
which is called balik ekmek.
I think it is mackerel which is grilled
and they grill it on the boat.
But then they have little
seating areas on the solid ground
so you’re not rocking while you’re eating,
but I just ordered one sandwich
and as soon as you order,
they grab a piece of the
pre-cooked fish filet
and they stick it into a big bread loaf
and then add in some lettuce and onions
and along with the fish
sandwich, what’s really great
about this place is the ambiance.
You have a great view on both sides.
You’re sitting on the water’s
edge and this is an amazing
part of Istanbul.
Oh yeah.
I see the attraction in that.
That’s really good fish.
It’s buttery, a little
bit oily and mackerel
is one of my favorite fish.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s mackerel.
Got some lemon juice,
some bottled lemon juice.
Sprinkle some of this on,
a good dose of lemon juice
and I think I’ll sprinkle
on a little bit of salt.
That is not open, or maybe it’s stuck.
Okay, I think that should be good.
It’s a very simple sandwich
but I do love the fish.
The grilled fish was good.
Grilled fish is one of my favorite things.
I think it would’ve been
improved had they given me
a fresh wedge of lemon
as opposed to the lemon
in the bottle, but it was still good.
I love this ambiance.
There are a number of boats
along this stretch here.
I think they pretty much
all serve the same things,
so we just chose one.
We crossed over the road
and we are now entering
into the Egyptian bazaar
which is also known
as the spice market.
There are lots and lots of spices and nuts
and dried fruit and all
sorts of cheeses and olives
and candies.
Look at this amount of nuts.
(exotic music)
A microphone for audio.
Thank you.
Hello, sir.
– Hello.
– [Mark] Can I have one
kilo of cherries please?
– Cherries, 12.
– [Mark] 12, okay, one kilo please.
– Thank you.
– Yes.
– Thank you.
– Thank you.
I guess or maybe you
should not, I will though.
Apricot, apricot.
I think this is an apricot.
Oh that’s wonderful, sweet and juicy.
Ying really loves cherries
so we stopped to buy
a kilo of cherries and
now we are sampling fruit
at this store.
(speaks foreign language)
We do not get cherries in
Thailand, that is a treat.
It’s juicy and just perfectly sweet.
Not too sweet but that’s wonderful.
Nice to meet you.
– Hello, hello, welcome.
– We were just walking around the outside
of the market now and
I’ve just come inside
and again there is just a
bounty of colorful things.
This is my kind of a market.
So many spices and aromas.
You can smell coffee, you can smell cumin,
you can smell turmeric, the chilies.
Maybe some incense in
the air and some perfume
and the Turkish delight.
There’s so many colors
and aromas in this market.
Nice to meet you.
– You too man.
– Yes, still filming.
We are just walking out
of the Egyptian Bazaar now
but what I loved is that
not only did they have
so many different spices
but there are so many
different herbs and flowers,
the different zaatars,
the saffron, the roselle and many things
I don’t know the name of but
there’s such an abundance
of different flavorful ingredients.
Oh and the sumac, lots of
different kinds of sumac
and dried chilies as well.
(upbeat music)
From the Egyptian Bazaar,
we are walking up the hill
towards the Suleymaniye Camii.
Istanbul is a very hilly
city and that means
you exercise when you eat.
I needed that little exercise.
This is another one of
the dominant mosques
that you can see on Istanbul’s skyline.
The entrance courtyard
area has a very similar
feel to it as the Sultan
Ahmed Camii, the Blue Mosque.
Again this is a huge open court yard.
What really stands out
to me are the chandeliers
are so interesting especially
the one in the center.
It is a giant circle which
hangs from the ceiling
from the ceiling dome and
just these little light bulbs
hanging off of it.
It just looks like ancient and medieval.
(chill music)
And also there’s a nice
view of the Bosphorus
and the Golden Horn from here.
I can see over in the
distance the Galata Tower
where we visited this
morning as well as the bridge
that we crossed and also where
we ate the fish sandwich.
That was well worth
the visit at the mosque
and now we are walking back down the hill
on our way to go eat again.
(chill music)
– Hello.
– Hello.
(speaks foreign language)
– Oh, thank you.
Oh wow.
There were a lot of foods
that I was really excited
to eat when I came to
Istanbul but this one dish
which is called kokorec.
Which is a combination of, I
think it’s mostly intestines
but maybe some other organs as well
which are grilled over
fire in a circular shape
is one of the things I cannot wait to try
and I’m gonna try it right now.
It’s kind of a street food
stall because everything
is open air and all of the
tables are out on the sidewalks
in kind of this little
neighborhood square.
It’s a busy place but at the same time
it’s kind of quiet and
peaceful and you can hide away
underneath the foyer here to eat.
A lot of people will order the sandwich
where he chops up some
of the meat and some
of the intestines and
sticks it into a loaf
and eat it like a sandwich.
But I had to go for the plate.
He very delicately and
expertly sliced it into pieces
and just arranged it onto this plate.
Then he sprinkled on some zaatar I think
and then also some chili
and actually while I was
taking a video of him
preparing this plate,
he gave me sample so
I’ve already tasted it
and it is amazing.
You can see that is a
pure beautiful golden,
almost red color on the outside.
Then on the inside, it
just looks like wonderful,
white gooey oily meat.
– [Ying] One, two, three.
– On video, Ying, what is your name?
– Hassan.
– Hassan, OK, Mark.
– Mark.
– Mark.
The owner chef, he has just come over
and he told me to eat it right
now while it’s hot and fresh.
So I better start eating before I,
I better stop explaining
it and just eat it.
Oh, that is stunning.
It has a wonderful kind
of bitter taste to it.
Then it’s like really crispy
on the outside golden edge.
But then really soft and you
can like feel the texture
of the intestines on the inside layer.
What’s also really good is the combination
of that really crispy, crunchy edge
on the top.
Then with the really
soft, oily, kind of fatty
down interiors.
Add one piece.
And there.
Maybe I’ll try this pickle next.
Ah, I think these are chilies.
I think I’ll add that
there and then go for it.
Okay, I love that.
That is amazing.
That bitter taste, that
chili, the herb taste
of that zaatar, the crispy to
like creamy, fatty intestines.
You’ve got a nice lamb flavor as well.
That is like a mild pickled chili.
Have some more of these
pickled chilies to my plate,
these are really good and
they complement the dish
really well because of the
refreshing pickled brine
with the pretty, fatty
intestines but they’re so good.
Break a piece of that bread.
This is a nice bread as well.
It almost has that
swiss cheese look to it.
All those crunchy bits are just insane.
Grab a chili.
One’s sliding out.
That’s like just oily,
buttery, bitter intestines
and it’s wonderful.
(speaks foreign language)
That kokorec was fantastic, I loved it
and also right here they
have a little stall set up
where they are serving
something called midye dolma
which are mussels which are
filled with a combination
of spices and rice and
filled back into the shell
and then served like that.
It’s a very common street
food here in Istanbul.
But as I’ve been walking
around, I haven’t really noticed
many street food stalls selling it.
So maybe it’s not season, so
I thought since they serve it
right here, this is my opportunity.
I’d better taste it right now.
That’s a pretty good sized mussel there.
Pull it open.
Oh there comes from that side.
Oh, wait.
When you open up this side.
Oh and I think the mussel
is maybe underneath here.
Then you give it a squeeze of lemon.
I think the way you eat
this is you take off,
a little piece of the mussel
came off on this side.
You take the other side of the shell
and you kind of loosen it up.
Then kind of scoop the
whole thing into your mouth
in one bite.
Oh wow, that’s awesome.
The rice is really gooey.
It has an amazing, I think
it’s cinnamon in there.
Kind of a sweet spice flavor.
That contrasts the sourness of
the lemon, that’s delicious,
I need one more.
There we go, I got the
mussel on the top there.
Squeeze on some lemon.
That rice is like the texture of pudding
and just that mild blend
of spices, that lemon,
and it just sort of melts into the mussel.
That is marvelous.
Thank you.
There’s no better way to end
a meal of roasted baby lamb
intestines than with a cup of tea.
Yeah, this is fantastic.
That was a great meal and
also not only the kokorec
was delicious but also those midye dolma.
Those were excellent.
– Together photo.
– Okay.
– Together, together, you two together.
– Very nice to meet you.
– Nice to meet.
– Nice to meet you.
– Nice to meet.
Yes, Migrationology.
All food, YouTube, on YouTube.
Thank you very much.
– Thank you.
– Thank you, very nice.
Again not only was the food spectacular
but the staff and the owner,
they were so nice and friendly.
Highly recommend for kokorec in Istanbul.
You’ve gotta come check this place out.
They will hook you up with
some incredible kokorec.
We are now walking
towards the Grand Bazaar.
We made it to the Grand Bazaar
and not only is this one
of Istanbul’s oldest covered markets,
but it’s one of the oldest covered markets
in the entire world.
Dating back to 1455.
I’ve only been walking
around the market now
for about 10 minutes
but literally everything
that I have seen on the
streets around Istanbul so far
are available at the Grand Bazaar.
From carpets to clothes
to silverware to utensils
to glassware to everything in between.
Also there’s food, there’s
spices, there are all sorts
of textiles and pillows and
lots and lots of glassware.
Everything you can imagine
that is from Turkey,
you will find at the Grand Bazaar.
What sets this market
apart from other markets
or other bazaars is it’s
housed within this ancient
structure which dates back to 1455.
Not only are there so
many things for sale,
and just a browsing
paradise but you also have
a piece of history.
Chai, please, yes.
– Two?
– [Mark] One, two, yes, please.
(speaks foreign language)
Thank you.
(speaks foreign language)
– [Mark and Ying] Thailand.
– [Man] Thailand.
(speaks foreign language)
– Taiwan.
– Thailand, Bangkok.
That’s some nice strong tea.
Mm, that’s good.
We have been walking around
the Grand Bazaar for awhile
and we are pretty worn out
so we are catching an Uber
back to the hotel.
Gonna rest for a little while
and then go back out again
for dinner.
Hello, is it Uber?
Yes, okay, thank you.
(chill music)
We are waiting at the
bus stop this evening.
Gonna try to take a bus to an area of town
to eat dinner tonight.
Traffic is pretty heavy and
our bus is pretty packed,
but we are on our way now.
It didn’t take too long.
We got off the bus, I think
this area’s called Ortakoy
and we are going to go to a
restaurant around this area.
Oh, this is the place right here, Ying.
This restaurant specializes both in kebabs
but the main reason I came
here was to eat lahmacun
which is a flat dough
which is topped with meat
and it’s a very famous Turkish dish.
I’m starting off with ayran
which is a yogurt drink I think.
(speaks foreign language)
Mm, that is sour and salty.
And very rich and buttery, that’s good,
that will go good with the tomato-y bread.
Also to start with I got a
kubbeh and this is a very
common kind of snack in
parts of Levant as well.
I think it’s bulgur wheat
with meat on the inside.
I’m gonna squeeze a bunch of lemon on it.
All right.
That is one of the more
delicious version that I’ve had.
It’s packed with meat, you can taste lots
of onions in there.
Mmm, that’s delicious.
– Photo?
– Yes, photo and video.
Thank you.
(speaks foreign language)
This is the lahmacun which this
place is really famous for.
Ying already had a piece, she enjoyed it.
We got the spicy version so
there’s chilies on there,
I think there’s some zaatar
as well or some kind of herb.
It is fired in a burning
oven and it’s very thin.
It’s almost like cracker thin.
I think what I see people
do is first squeeze
on some lemon.
I’m gonna squeeze on a bunch of lemon.
Then I think you’re supposed
to sort of roll it up,
pick out the seed and eat it like a roll.
Oh, yeah.
The bread is very thin
and a little bit crispy
but then a little bit
chewy at the same time.
You can taste that minced meat.
You can taste the herb in there.
When I ordered this dish, I had no idea
it was going to be this big.
On the menu in the little
photo, it looked like
it was about half this size.
This is giant and it’s
similar to a calzone
but then quite different as well.
It’s shaped like a boat or like a trough
and just filled with
meat and I think tomatoes
and maybe parsley in there and then baked
in an oven as well.
Look at that, that’s just like meat bread.
Mmm, that bread is
definitely a lot thicker
than a lahmacun and it’s
more of a chewy bread
but then very, very crusty.
That’s just like pure meat and bread.
But really good meat and bread.
Follow that with some ayran.
That’s a good combination.
And then finally the last dish I ordered
and I actually had no
idea what I was ordering.
But this is their special kebab here.
It almost looks like a Chimichanga plate,
but there’s a kebab inside
and that’s wrapped in dough
and then also baked.
Oh and there’s cheese in here too.
Oh wow.
That is the winner right there.
Kebab, and cheese stuffed
within a piece of dough.
Then roasted in that oven
and maybe with a little bit
of a tomato sauce on top
and some sesame seeds.
That is awesome.
For my next piece of lahmacun,
I’m gonna add a bunch
of vegetables to it.
Stick this all into the middle.
I think this is what
most people are doing.
And then I’m gonna go on
with some lemon again.
That lemon is almost finished.
Let me grab the other lemon.
This will be like a salad roll.
The lemon is the touch I love.
And then again just wrap this all up.
This is a very popular restaurant.
They are getting a lot of takeaway orders
as we are sitting here.
Oh yeah.
A cracker, thin crust, salad roll.
That was another great meal
and all three of the things
I ordered were much different
and I’ve had this problem
since coming to Turkey
that I’ve been kind of over
ordering I think because
maybe I’m accustomed
to Asian food so much where,
well especially in Thailand
where the portions are kind of small.
So you order like five or six
dishes between Ying and I.
We always order five or six dishes.
Here, they are huge and I
was imagining that trough
to be like only a quarter of the size.
I could not finish all of that bread.
Had to get a takeaway
bag and I’m gonna bring
that back to the hotel with
us for breakfast tomorrow.
A shout out to
for this recommendation.
That’s where I found this place.
This is a great place.
I’m gonna end the video now.
We’re just gonna head back.
Thank you all very much
for watching today’s video.
It’s been an amazing food day actually.
We’ve eaten, I think
I’ve tried quite a few
different dishes and
wandered around Istanbul.
Another fantastic day.
Please remember to subscribe
if you’re not already
subscribed for lots more
food and travel videos.
I will see you on the next
video, thank you for watching.
(upbeat music)

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