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Hatay Sofrasi

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The kind folk at Seraglio Hotel bothered enough to recommend some local eats though it was just a one night stay there and we found ourselves at Hatay Sofrasi, a restaurant frequented by mostly locals.

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They had an open kitchen and also a counter retailing Turkish condiments.

warm water

A very thoughtful water dispenser, warmed for comfort.

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In Morton's style, they also believe in showing us the day's appetizers and for our selection. Seeing is believing rather than taking it from a page of turkish and english descriptions.

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Hummus is always a great way to start a Turkish meal. Boiled and mashed chickpeas with sesame paste and garlic served with lemon sauce, this had a lovely tangy after taste.

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Yeşil Zeytin Salatası  
Green olives and chilli pepper served with olive oil and pomegranate syrup

Olive salad that was so laden with olive oil, it had to be one of the oiliest salads I have ever eaten.

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The rest of the spread of appetizers we had.

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Muhammara  
Mashed chilli peppers with walnuts

The colourful pastes have such huge call to action, I seem to order more than a plate of these everytime I am posed a decision like that. These fiery red ones packed a spicier kick, yums!

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Freshly made oven baked bread studded with enough sesame seeds, these were so good for mopping up the pastes!

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Oruk Fırında   
Baked cracked wheat crust stuffed with minced meat, chilli pepper, walnuts and special Hatay spices

This sausage looking dish had more than meets an eye.

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The peanuts bits gave this savoury dish a sweet finish. I would have preferred if it were solely savoury though.

meatballs

Metrelik Akdeniz Yoncası  
Hand-minced meter chicken kebab with cheddar and pistachio.

Kebabs, very Turkish and I suppose we gave this a go just to have a taste of different cooking techniques. The best to date, spicy, flavourful and so juicy! I wondered what went wrong with the rest.

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We were so tempted to order an Deveci Tuzda Tavuk ( a forgotten Flavours of Hatay), a whole chicken stuffed with rice and special spices covered by 100% rock salt and baked in a wood fired oven for 2 hours. Had it not been for the 2 hour notice, I would have just ordered this. This had to be dramatically extricated from the bakeware like above. Takes a hammer and a number of resounding knocks before the poultry is freed. I wish I made friends with that table to steal at least a bite.

dessert

Never leave Turkey without trying their kuneffe. It may look like food coma, or a brain freeze with the copious amounts of sugar, it truly was not half bad but actually really delicious.

kuffere

Fried goats cheese with cheese strings so thick, I wish I had dessert first. For once, I am sold on savoury and swet at the same time.

cookies

Turkish petit fours in the form of sesame cookies to round things up.

I wish I had another meal here, to suss out the local favourites but all good things do have to come to an end and thankfully, the last meal proved to be the best.

Hatay Sofrasi
İstiklal Cd 20/A, Antakya Merkez/Hatay, Turkey

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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