Thursday, July 5, 2012

Turkish Night in Blarney - wow

Turkish Lentil Soup
Have you been to Turkey yet??? If not, you missed another chance last Thursday as Turkey came to Blarney. Our Turkish Night in Blarney kicked off at 7:30 with Vakkas & Mehmet of The Half Moon Cafe greeted us and cooked the most amazing food for us with no Kebab to be seen. Vakkas took over the former Kopi Cafe in Blarney 8 months ago with his wife - Blarney local Mary Philpott and renamed it to Half Moon Cafe in honour of his home country.

Vakkas & Mehmet of Half Moon Cafe

Mehmet explaining how to eat the mussels

Stuffed Mussels

Stuffed Aubergine with nutty rice
Dessert - Baked Milkcream with Pastry
Famous Turkish Beer
The cafe has been lovingly decorated in a rich plum and cream colour. Accessories are carefully chosen and match the interior perfectly. A warm ambiance that is very seldom these days. I came across this little gem in Blarney when Mr T and I went for breakfast and I was astonished to find proper scrambled eggs (for you who don't me I am very particular about my scrambled eggs) and we have been back for breakfast a few times since. After chatting with him I asked him where he was from and was delighted when I heard from Turkey. I love Turkey - have been there for almost a year in my younger years - and remembered with deep melancholy that I had my first cooking steps in this wonderful country. Vakkas and we started chatting and the idea was born to have a Turkish Night. Vakkas was happy to cook his native food (the restaurant has a easy style of Italian based dishes) and I was happy to organise the event.

To make a long story short - the food was simply outstanding and I only saw empty plates. Vakkas and his sidekick Mehmet cooked with such pride and it was eaten with such pleasure - the way food is suppose to be prepared and enjoyed. I had a great time watching the people. And as always, food brings everyone together - people who have never met, chatted away as if they had known each other for years - how can you not love food when it is that good.

The food was simple but cooked to perfection. We decided on a menu that anyone could cook at home without much difficulties if they wanted to. Some might be a bit time consuming but the
Q & A session after meal
result would justify the time spent. Vakkas & Mehmet cooked the first 4 courses and if I had known how big the portions were, I hadn't bothered with the 5th course which I made - a plate of petit fours Turkish style.

This is the menu:
  • Mercimek Corbasi - Lentil soup served with homemade Turkish Lavas Bread
  • Midye Dolmasi - Stuffed mussels with rice herb stuffing cooked in brandy
  • Karniyarik & Pilav - Aubergines stuffed with mince, topped with green pepper, served with nutty rice
  • Muhallebili Kadayif - baked cream with a Kadayif pastry topping, served with ice cream
  • Vakkas & Mehmet in Q & A session
  • Petit Fours - homemade Turkish Delight, Semolina Cake and Sesame Biscuits
Of course, we stayed on course with the drink as well and Barry of The Abbott Ale House was able to supply us with Turkish Beer - Efes. Smooth and a bit on the sweet side but went perfectly with the meal. You can get the beer either from The Abbott Ale House in Devonshire Street (Coburg Street) or Bradley's Off License in North Main Street. 

Please email me on if you like to receive the Turkish booklet with the recipes of the night (need a SAE). 

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