Friday, October 8, 2010

Merhaba - ♕♕♕♕

Merhaba, meaning “to welcome”, is one of very few Turkish Dining Restaurants locally. They offer traditional grills, meze and main dishes as well as sheesha, or nargile water pipe smoking pots.  To me Turkish food is quite similar to Greek food in many aspects despite being a Muslim country, but ask the locals and they’ll think its an insulting comment even though they sit right next to each other on the map.  They might be more foes than friends - but there’s no denying their similar roots of food culture.  

Merhaba is part of the King Parrot group, which also owns a long list of shops spanning over numerous continents, ranging from Spanish Restaurants or a new Tapas Bar in Wan Chai, German beer house, Russian Ice Vodka bars, Chinese Shin Jang, Sichuan, Shanghainese or Korean and Japanese cuisine.  Some locals associate the Chain with creating restaurants aimed at the Western expats market, but approaching it from another angle it nicely fills in the gap in the niche market.   There’s no doubt some food items here are toned down from the original, as some items aren’t even very Turkish in nature.  Asking the staff which items are authentic and recommended seems the best way to eating a good share of Turkish items…

Love this Turkish lamp (seriously!)

No Dancing tonight, but on another night of visit,
it was entertaining.

Tropical Sunrise -
Made of Bacardi, Triple Sec, Melon, Banana, Pineapple juice and Grenadine.
A very frozen and icy Cocktail ~  7/10

Turkish Efes Pilsner Beer  &  Raki - 
Double Raki drink was still transparent before adding water ~ 7/10

Turkish Raki - 
Tastes just like Greek Ouzo, with strong flavours of Star Anise/Licorice and a cloudy appearance after the addition of Water.  Its not a drink for everyone, as it carries a highly acquired minty taste.  I’m gradually warming towards it, just!

Yoğurtlu Havuç ve Pide -
A Carrot yogurt with Pita bread pockets, topped with a sprinkle of Paprika spice ~

Zeytinyağlı Bamya Sote -
Olive oil sauteed Okra beans, with a tomato based ratatouille,
this was slimey and delicious. A staple food even found in asian countries ~

Sigara Böreği, Ispanak, Peynir, Naneli & Naneli Yoğurtlu -

A Spinach, Mint and Turkish unpasteurised Peynir goat cheese cigar,
it is served with a minty yogurt dip on the side ~  7.5/10
Dolmak: Ton Balíčky, Keçi Peynirli, Asma Yaprağı -
Vine leaves stuffed with Tuna & Turkish goat cheese, this is very similar to Greek Dolmades, just minus the rice bit. One of my favourite dishes in the world ~

Kızarmış Kuzu Kaburga, Naneli Yoğurtlu -
Fried Lamb ribs with Mint Yogurt dip, very good with beers ~

Naneli Yoğurtlu

Karışık Kebap Salata -
Doner Kebap Salad with shaved Beef.  Not exclusive to Turkey… ~

Pickled Pearl Onion..

Plic ve Sebzeli Manti -
A baked rather than boiled version of Chicken and Vegetables Dumpling,
but didn’t taste very Turkish for some reason ~ 8/10

Dana Izgara -
Grilled Beef on a metal stick, these weren’t very elaborately seasoned,
like the original version ~  6.5/10

Plic Izgara -
Stick grilled Chicken Thigh meat with a spicy tomato based dipping sauce,
too underseasoned ~ 7/10

Vegeteryan Pizza -
Tasted very toned down especially the sauce,
but was enjoyable nevertheless, except the pizza base was underbaked ~

Peynir ve Ispanakli Manti -
A baked Peynir goat cheese and Spinach pastry dumpling, another similar meze dish to Greece’s Spanakopita. Tasty with strong cheese flavouring ~ 9/10

Baklava, Kadayif, Sekerpare, etc
Seriously: Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, Persian Desserts…
Who can tell me their differences?

Türk Kahvesi -
Brought to the boil 3 times in the Cezve pot infront of us, much like Greek coffee Ellinikos Kafes only less stronger, this came to the table bubbly on top and full of grind sediments beneath. Sweet, loveable. Not as bitter as I remember them either, say compared to badly extracted Espresso’s.. No Turkish delights were given though, which is how they should be drank together with ~ 7/10 

IMG_5223 - 複製
Crowded at night, with Shisha (Nargile) crowd.

Price: $175-$300 Per Person + 10%
Dinner Score:  ★★★★☆☆

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri:   14:00~02:00am

Fri - Sat:     14:00~03:00am
Sun:            14:00~01:00am

Address: 尖沙咀諾士佛臺12號耀邦大廈地下
(G/F, Yiu Pont House, 12 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui)
Phone:  2367 2263

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