That is unbelievably good, just the combination of everything, the little patties, the fluffy loaf. Good morning everyone. One of the things that is very important and very famous is Turkish breakfast, and I am having my first ever Turkish breakfast on Turkish Airlines. Got an assortment of cheese and vegetables, some fruit, some olives. I’m not sure what this is. I think some sweets and some bread and some chocolate. I’m gonna go. And this is the piece of bread I chose, a nutty little loaf. Oh that is some good cheese. And olive. I just read on the menu, this is sun-dried tomato spread.
I think I will add that to my bread and maybe go in for some cheese as well. Those are like sour, tart tomatoes in jam form. Oh yeah. It’s like a little mini pizza I just created. And then this is honey comb. Oh I’ve never seen honey like that before. That is some good honey. Sweet and very fragrant. Now this is the main course. I got the omelet with spinach and potatoes on the bottom. Check out this little pepper bottle. Omelets and pepper is always a good idea. Dig into the omelet. Oh that has a very nice kind a spongy texture to it. Okay, welcome to Istanbul.
Now gonna grab our bag and then head into the city. That being said, I am extremely excited to be in Istanbul. Because we’re not in a rush, we’re gonna try to look for a bus that’s going to take us to Taksim, which I think is straight up ahead. That morning sunshine is wonderful. Taksim. Two person? Two person. We found the bus right outside the terminal on the second lane, and it’s called Havabus. It goes directly to Taksim, and the price for the ticket is 11 lira. The bus took only 30 minutes. Maybe that’s because there was no traffic this morning, and we are going to walk to our hotel from here. Ying was feeling a little bit hungry, so she wanted to stop into this bakery, which is like right across the street from where we got off the bus, and we ordered a simit, which is the very typical bread.
It is a circular shaped bread with lots and lots of sesame seeds. Oh yeah. Crusty on the outside, fluffy in the middle, and then the sesame seeds. It’s all about the sesame seeds. For the rest of this round the world trip for food, the Marriott and all of the sub-brands, Marriott sub-brands, are gonna be sponsoring the accommodation for Ying and I, so in Istanbul, we are staying at the Ritz Carlton, and we are walking there now. Actually it’s coming up very soon, and yeah this is gonna be a real treat. It’s gonna be a nice place to stay. It’s only, it’s a little before eight AM, so I’m not sure if we’ll be able to check in, but we’re gonna show up there, see if we can get an early check in, or at least drop our bags.
Hello, good morning. I have a reservation for David. Sure, welcome to Ritz Carlton Istanbul. Thank you very much. Okay, they allowed us to check in early, so we got into our room, and wow this room is insane. Not only the room, but check out this view! I’m gonna give you a little quick tour of this room. And I haven’t even seen the whole room yet. Here’s a sofa seat, bed is right here in the middle, and there is a desk and have no idea what that is, so is that a, may be some kind of shoe rack. And this is the whole entrance area. Oh yes, the little coffee station. Oh, I’m gonna be using this immediately. And then over to the left hand side here is, where’s the light, shower, toilet, sink, tub on the side.
This is a really nice room, and the view of the Bosphorus, oh I’m excited to be here in Istanbul. I think for right now, we’re gonna hang out in the room for a little while, may be take a nap, we didn’t really sleep much last night, and then after that, we will go do something. If it hadn’t have been for the bellboy who rang the bell, I think Ying and I would’ve just kept on sleeping the entire day. That bed is like a cloud. Yeah we were definitely very tired. It’s already noon now, so we slept for two and a half hours, but that was a very much needed sleep. Yesterday when we were in Oman, it reached up to 48 degrees. It was burning hot, but today in Istanbul, I just checked the temperature, and it says it’s 25 degrees. I’m almost shivering, but this is like perfect weather right now. Oh and that breeze off of the sea. Oh man, even the air feels so fresh here.
I didn’t know where to eat our first meal, but I was just doing some searching, and I found there’s a street food stall which is very close to our hotel located right across the intersection, right behind those garbage cans, and luckily, they are open right now, so let’s go check them out. Oh yeah, you can smell that grilling meat. Hello. One chicken, one beef. Is it called kofte? Okay. This is an amazing stall, and he grilled up the fresh, kofte is like little little ground meat patties. Quite a significant, thick loaf of bread, and he cut it in half, he grilled it on the same grill where the meat is grilling, so the bread probably soaked up a little meat juice and a little smoke. He added in some chili, he added some peppers, some tomatoes, handful of onions, and some other herbs, and then seasoned it with some more salt, and with some chili. Thank you. Want anything to drink?
Just water. Just water is okay. Yes, one. Thank you. The aroma of this is absolutely irresistible. I’m gonna just give you guys a, or let’s all get a close up look at what’s all inside. Ooh, look at that. It is just smashed within a fluffy loaf. Oh those tomatoes look wonderful. I’m gonna scoot a tomato forward, so I get that on my first bite. Okay, there we go. Oh, kind a smash it down a little bit. Oh yeah. That is as good as it smells and it looks. The little patties of meat are nice and salty with a little bit ofa spice blend to them. That is unbelievably good, and just the combination of everything, the little patties, the fluffy loaf. The tomatoes are wonderful. The tomatoes are like smoky, but really juicy, really really juicy. We’re standing for a little while, but now we’ve managed to grab some seats in the back of the stall, so not only am I eating, but I have the whole aromatherapy of the smoke from the grilling meat right behind me. That is so wonderful.
It’s so nice and salty, and then what I really like is how the tomato, like the slightly cooked tomato and the grilled pepper just sort of melt into the meat and the bread. That is superb. Ying also loved it. Ying had the chicken. Oh that was so good, and the combination of a drink and a sandwich cost 10 lira. Oh that is given me just a complete positive, wonderful, grilled meat experience for my first meal in Istanbul, and where we just ate, it seems to be a very popular spot with taxi drivers. Taxi drivers know where the good food is. We are walking around now, stumbled into this nice little green park and trying to get across the park somehow. So now we found ourselves in this beautifully shaded little neighborhood park. This is fantastic. The air is so fresh and so cool, and I’m loving this shade. Even this is just a normal neighborhood park, and it is wonderful. Ying and I are just sitting here soaking up the shade, the breeze, and the enjoyment after that lunch. And we have arrived at Taksim Square. But this is just a huge open square area, and it is not open to traffic, but it’s only foot traffic, so it has this, it has just a gigantic plaza feel to it.
Walking through Taksim Square, it’s such a gigantic open public space, and there’s always so much going on. It’s a great place to people watch. There are some street food snack vendors, there are lots of restaurants and cafes and parks in this area. What I really like is that the street is open air, and it’s like a giant open air shopping mall, but there are building son both sides of the road, there’s an antique tram way that runs down the middle, and you’ll find all sorts of modern shops and boutique shops, but at the same time, some of the buildings are old and historical antique buildings. Oh there goes the tram. There is a cafe along this street that is supposed to serve some of the best Turkish coffee, and so that’s where I’m going to try to find next. Mandabatmaz Cafe, and this is an amazing little hideaway down a quiet alley right off the main street, but it just has a completely quiet, relaxed feel to it. We got a table outside, and I just ordered a cup of Turkish coffee. This is the type of ambiance I think of when I think of Istanbul, just an old alley like this sandwiched between two buildings drinking coffee. Thank you. I’ve had Turkish coffee in other places, but I’ve never had Turkish coffee in Turkey, so this will be my very first Turkish coffee in Turkey. And this is a beautiful little cup. You can see how thick it is.
Wow, that’s, that is marvelous. Oh yeah. It’s thick and has a little bit of a graininess to it because of the ground coffee, but at the same time, it’s smooth, well sort of smooth, but it’s not bitter at all. It is strong, a little bit sweet, and it has a, I think it’s cardamom, a little bit of a cardamom spice to it. Wow that is just liquid delicious. That is an amazing cup of coffee. Oh, I love it. And it does have a little bit of a roasted smoky flavor to it, it’s really strong, but really, and even though it’s like thick and kind of murky, it is actually re David ably smooth but just bursting with coffee flavor. That was an amazing cup of coffee and an amazing location as well. Now back out onto the busy walking street. We’ve just made it to the other end of the shopping street. That was very enjoyable, especially the coffee. That was the highlight. We just stopped by at a small little grocery store on the side of the road here and bought some bananas and some apples and some water.
Right down the road there behind me is the Galata Tower, which is a historical land David in Istanbul, but we’re not going to visit today, we’ll probably come back another day to visit, but now we’re just walking around these amazing little alley streets. Walking around these old streets, you will see lots and lots of cats. We walked around for a while, and now Ying and I have just stopped for dinner at a place called the Fish and Meat House, which is just a really little restaurant. They have a couple tables set out on a sidewalk, and so we sat down, but it’s in a nice neighborhood, the cobblestone street behind me, and it’s also worth mentioning that we’re here very early for dinner.
I think most people would not eat dinner this early, but Ying and I are, we’re actually both really sleepy still, so we wanted to have dinner, then we’re going to head back to the hotel, and then we’re going to plan more for tomorrow. Got two different salads. This one is mixed green salad, and just look at the beautiful greenliness of this salad. There’s tomatoes in here, there’s parsley, there’s I don’t know what that is, I think that’s dill, there’s lettuce, and cucumbers in here. And then the other salad is a roka salad, and I think it’s arugula. There are cucumbers and tomatoes and cheese on top, and I think it’s just a lemon, you just squeeze a lemon over it. Oh wow, that’s a very juicy juicy lemon. It just squeezes nicely. Oh that’s, yeah that’s extremely juicy. Oh yes, fresh black pepperis one of the spices of life. We’ll go with the other one too. I will try to get a little bitof everything in this bite. Oh, and definitely that dill. It’s the dill that gives it so much flavor. I haven’t had too many green vegetables in a couple days, so this feels really good to eat some vegetables.
They’re all just very fresh and crisp. Thank you. Thank you. Some olive oil will begood on the salad as well. Alright. Oh yeah and also the tomatoes in that last bite of salad, of salad I had, the tomatoes were vibrant and just really nice and tart and flavorful. The arugula has that wonderful little like very very faint hint of horseradish, just simply with the lemon juice and a little bit of olive oil, that’s a perfect dressing. For my main dish, I got the grilled sea bream, and this is a wonderful little personal sized fish. It looks just oily and juicy, and you can smell the slight fish aroma, and I have to be honest and say that it has been a long time since I’ve eaten with a fork. Let’s see if I remember. Oh yes, oh, grilled fish. Oh I better squeeze some lemon on it, but let me just taste it pure with nothing on it first. Oh yeah.
That is actually just like pure fish. Nothing else. I don’t even know if it’s salted, but it’s cooked, so it’s not over cooked, it’s juicy and oily. It’s amazingly fresh. It’s so simple I think it’s just basically grilled with no, I don’t know if there’s salt on it, but just very simple, very fresh fish. The only thing that could enhance a perfectly fresh fish like this. Maybe I’ll just give it a very light sprinkle of salt. And that’s about good. I don’t want to overdo the saltiness. Oh, it feels so good just to eat pure fish. That skin is so good, and then also eating it with some bread as well. And then I’m gonna eat it with some of this red onion. Let me take a circle of red onion. Oh, the red onion is wonderful. Nice and pungent, a little bit spicy, and then crisp and juicy. Sitting here eating, we have attracted an entire, is it called a pride? A pride of house cats? Oh and there’s one on the table next to us. Oh it must be the smell of my fish that I’m eating right now.
I’m a big fan of grilled fish, and this was, whoa cat fight over there, but what I really liked about this meal is everything was so simple but really fresh, really good ingredients. I think this is a hand towel to clean my hands. Oh yeah, I need this after licking that fish clean. What’s up man? What I like is that you can eat such a high quality meal. That fish was really good quality, the salad was really nice, but you can still eat on the sidewalk on the side of the road, so that was not a street food cheap meal, but it was definitely very good quality, and I really enjoyed it. I eat a lot of spicy food, and I eat a lot of food that’s very flavorful, but sometimes just relying on the natural ingredients and not even using much seasoning is really good, and it’s a different change from the spicy food that I often eat. Ying and I just walked back to our hotel room, and I was actually just planning to end the article right now, but look what the Ritz Carlton has hooked us up with in our room.
Check out this gigantic glass cover. Oh wow. Oh I’m kind a scared to take this off. And then, are these entire pieces of cheese? At first I thought it was little sandwiches, but I guess they are all, I guess they’re just solid cheese, and then little, they look like dried apricots with walnuts in them. Did these cheeses fall over? I don’t know. I’m gonna go in for that apricot. Little apricot sandwich,I think, with a walnut in the middle. Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. An apricot, dried apricot, oh and that is a wonderful little combination. I’m not sure what this is, a little disc, but this should go good with cheese. At least I’m hoping so. I’ll try some of this cheese. That taste like very salty cream cheese.
It’s kind of like a particle bread. Oh yeah. And you just have to see the sunset view right now over the Bosphorus. It’s amazing. The boats, the sun shining on the hill, this is fantastic. And on that note, I think I’m gonna end the article for today right now. Istanbul has been a city that I’ve wanted to visit my entire life, and so I am extremely happy to be here, and today, we just sorta walked around and just kind of got a feel for Istanbul. We didn’t really see much, but it was already amazing. Please remember to give this article a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and also make sure you subscribe for lots more food and travel articles and also stay tuned for this entire round the world trip for food, many more articles coming up, and I will see you for the next day in Istanbul. Cheers. There are mirrors all over this bathroom. Make up mirror, whoa. That sandwich is so big for Ying, you have to hold it like a baby.