Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Karadeniz – Istanbul, Turkey


Karadeniz Restaurant

(90)  212 258-6290
Başka Şubemiz Yoktur
Istanbul, Turkey

12:00pm  7:00 pm – daily

After visiting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, we walked around the corner to a very touristic arcade bereft of the food options we’d come to expect as our due in Istanbul! The market was a small passage full of shops selling higher quality handcrafts (for the most part), at very high prices with only a few places worth.  We were going to write off the whole market when ….

Towards the end of the passage we came upon a group of men eating some exceptionally yummy looking food, and us being quite hungry at the time, started staring and wondering where did they get their delectable dishes!  Not a minute passed when the men, with true Turkish hospitality, asked if we wanted to try it!  Of course we did 🙂  After a single scrumptious sample, we got the convoluted directions and after a short walk (and couple of wrong turns) we ended in a closed alley with a few local cafeterias, of which  our destination – Karadeniz – was one.  Oh how lucky we can sometimes be 🙂

We ordered the kiremitte kebap, a lovely stew of tomatoes, herbs an eggplant;  – that dish what we had sampled from the men in the arcade.  The Çoban Chopped Salad and a Pide Turkish pizza.

If you are in the area, and wish to eat like locals, then a side bar at Karadeniz is a must.

Karadeniz_005kiremitte kebap
Karadeniz_002Çorba, a red lentil soup with lemon
Karadeniz_004Çoban Chopped Salad



Çiya – Istmbul, Turkey


Çiya Restaurant

(90)  216 30-3190
Caferaga Mah. Güneslibahce Sk. 48/B  –
Kadiköy, Istmbul, Turkey


11:00am  10:00 pm – daily

Located in Kadiköy, on the Asian side of the Bospherous, Çiya is not an obvious place, but is quite renowned.  We had the luck of chatting with Yonca Erol manager of the Sekerci (Confectioner) Cafer Erol and after exchanging passionate  stories of food, she literally held our hand and walked us up the hill, via narrow streets, all the way to Ciya.  There, she introduced as vegetarians to Zeynep Çaliskan (part owner and wife of Musa Dağdeviren) and ordered for us.  The exquisiteness and the flavours and freshness of every ingredient were astounding throughout our entire meal.

Opening in 1987, the excllelence quickly expanded.  There are now 3 of thier restaurants on the same road –   Ciya Sofrasi, Ciya Kebap & Ciya Kebab II (where you can get about 40 different kabob flavours!)

Chef/ proprietor Musa Dağdeviren has amazing knowledge in the various traditions of Anatolian, Ottoman, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Turkish, Seldjukian, Armenian, Ottoman, Syrian, and Jewish foods.  He has lectured at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California and written articles in about by every major food publication – worldwide.

Fortunately for many of us chef Musa and his lovely wife Zeynep Çaliskan have decided to share with the world the results of his extensive research in the culinary traditions of this vast region.  This is distilled into a seasonal publication called Yemek ve Kültür (Food and Culture) The Magazine is beautifully designed with traditional folkloric illustrations

Highlights for us included:

  • Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
  • Cheese and spiced apricot phyllo ‘cigars’
  • Stuffed dried eggplant
  • Carrot and pistachio fritters with chili yoghurt sauce
  • Oregano Thyme tea – as a digestif;
  • grape extract
  • “lahmacuns” – a kind of thin-crust pizza baked with mince, onions and tomatoes
Ciya_016lavaş bread
Buda (wheat meze),  Sikma Kofte  (bulgur onion and yogurt dip)
Ciya_021Sikma Kofte  (bulgur onion and yogurt dip), Seaweed, Mahammara (red peppers and walnuts dip), Moa Mara (curry pasta),  Risvat otu yogurt bulgur soup
Ciya_017Nebrus (keme mushroom kebab),  Zaffron cheese, Sibma kefta (bulgur balls)
Ciya_024Black mulberry extract
green elixir of mint, apple & parsley
above from left Zeynep Çaliskan & Yonca Erol from Cafér Erol
Yemek ve Kültür
Yemek ve Kültür
Yemekve Kültür


El Parnita – Mexico City, Mexico


El Parnita

(52) 55 –  5264 7551
Yucatán 84, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc
Mexico D.F. 06700


1:00 pm – 6:00pm  Tuesday – Sunday

When we were looking for a quick place to grab a good-bye bite with a friend, he quickly brought us to El Parnita.  A very casual hip antojería (‘place for little cravings’).  Located in the north of the Roma neighborhood, be sure to take a lace in the nice outdoor sitting area which is just perfect for a sunny afternoon of micheladas; which are a super refreshing mix of beer, special chilies and lime served in colorful tin mugs.

On arrival, jicama stalks – a super delicious crispy and refreshing root – are brought to the table to munch on while you explore the menu.  There is a nice mix of delicious,  tacos, tortas (sandwiches), and tlacoyitos – a thick stuffed corn masa pastie in an elongated oval shape, (not very attractive looking but tasty!).  We quite enjoyed the Taco of zucchini blossom and the Oaxaca cheese with onion avocado and salsas.

It all really comes to the salsas, which constantly change in flavor and color.  The menu also has daily soup & taco as well as salads and desserts.  So repeated visits may be warranted!

El-Parnita-006Background: Carmelita tacos – breaded shrimp, red onion, mayonnaise, lettuce and salsa;
Foreground: Panelita taco – Panela cheese,black beans onion and salsas


El-Parnita-004 habanero salsa