By the time of this post, you will only have 3 more days to enjoy the special Turkish meze or mezze platters and main courses being served at Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel’s TAPAS Bar, which will run until the 12th of October. If we had visited earlier I could have informed everyone better in advance! Turkish Chef Haydar Inal was flown-in and with the endorsement of the Turkish Consulate made this whole event able to come to fruition. Thanks to fellow Chinese Blogger friend Smashing Pumpkin (website) for hooking me up with this Turkish Tasting event, a cuisine I really love but is not easy to find in HK. My last Turkish post was on Merhaba here. Mezze Plates start from $90 to $120 each, a relative bargain considering you also paid for the chef’s air ticket from Turkey.. I’ll put an Asterix* next to the plates we liked the most if you need to know what everyone else liked on the night.
TAPAS, at Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel -
I come here sometimes for Happy Hour and Spanish or International Tapas.
Can I briefly mention that I really love the smell inside the two Shangri-la hotels in Hong Kong or in China, it’s based on a special tea perfume flavour. Disclaimer: I buy their company shares sometimes lol..
*Istanbul Cocktail – $90
Made with Raki, Cointreau, Pomegranate & Lime Juice.
Turkish Raki’s normal powerful aniseed flavour was balanced by the pomegranate base here, I really liked this cocktail and served with a cinnamon stick. ~ 8/10
Vine Leave wrapped Rice with Mint Raisins, Cinnamon - Zeytinyagli Yaprak Sarma $110
If you follow me on say Instagram or my Facebook where I post more daily individual street foods you might have known I love this and eat it whenever I see it! Also called Dolmades in Greek cuisine. The version here had a softer rice filling and is weaker. I can make a meal out of these! ~ 7/10
*Beef Balls - Dalyan Kofte $120
This was the strongest dish for the night! Lots of herbs and spices mixed into the beef, most of us totally thought this was Lamb balls with that exotic Middle-Eastern taste. A must order here ~ 9/10
Raki, Lemon Juice, Water -
To me no Turkish meal is complete without some Raki, which was also in the cocktail above. This already came with the water poured inside so it arrived already with the murky look rather than clear. This version was surprisingly mild, I would prefer it to have more Raki base. But knowing how acquired a taste it is with the liquorice/aniseed - I guess you can say this was deliberately balanced.
Stewed Beef with Eggplant Puree - Begendili Kebab $120
The meat was tender but can have more meat! On the other hand it was the eggplant puree under which stole the show… If you love eggplant then you should also order this! ~ 7/10
*Bulgur Pilavi – $120
Bulgur wheat rice with black lentil beans. Came with some fried herbs. It has no tomatoes in this version. I love bulgur wheat and I think this was overall well received, if it has even more bite it will be better. ~ 8/10
*Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Green Pepper – Kilic Baligi Sis $120
I really like Mediterranean sword fish and this was interesting, as it came with pieces of lemon wedged between the fish meat which made them char-grilled in effect and caramelized. A lovely touch… Pretty fatty oily as well. ~ 8/10
*Eggplant wrapped Chicken Kebab - Tavuk Islim $120
Another must order dish. The chicken pieces inside were so tender and moist but also carrying chicken meat taste. I like the eggplant parcel and tomato on top as well. So hard to get this kebab version usually… ~ 8/10
Deep Fried Aubergine in Tomato Garlic Sauce – Saksuka $110
This is probably the only dish that I didn’t like but some liked it more. For me this is too clean. It probably needed more aubergines and zucchini than potatoes too, and the tomato-y puree needed more Olive Oil and Herbs and Garlic to be more powerful. ~ 6/10
*Pasta Layers with Feta Cheese and Parsley - Su Boregi $90
Best dish for me tonight. Pasta was baked golden brown and carries a bite, inside was exotic and Mediterranean with the cheesiness and herbs. Served with a cacik yogurt on the side. Yummy! ~ 9/10
Sutlac – Milk Pudding with Rice $80
I love Sutlac puddings but this one was surprisingly not tanned enough and had little rice inside. Although the custard taste was there. An under-whelming version for me. ~ 5/10
*Revani – Semolina Cake soaked in Light Syrup and Pistachio $80
This was pretty decent despite the non-browned color. The syrup solution was addictive – it’s sweet yes but I happen to like it and the desserts here are already not the sweetest I have tried of this style of desserts. ~ 7.5/10
*Baklava – Layered Pastry with Pistachio
I have eaten Baklava pastries for decades as just like the above, I like the way they sweetened this up with the syrup in a sophisticated way. This for me was surprisingly quite a shorter version but the taste was almost the same. ~ 7/10
*Kazandibi – Blackened White Milk Pudding $80
1st time I have seen this hard-to-prepare Turkish dessert in HK. This version is milder on the milkiness but it was good to eat one in town at least! Order it before it leaves HK again.. ~ 7/10
“Lokum” Turkish Delights -
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It’s imported from Turkey and the Rosewater ones are really fragrant. Very different from the usual Lokums on the market. Some Turkish natives once taught me that you need to have it with Turkish coffee and also a glass of water to appreciate it… otherwise they will be too sweet on their own. The Coffee Tarot reading often follows… it’s all part of the overall experience.
One of the more Original Tapas Bars in the HK Dining Scene -
They update their Tapas menus and wine selections all the time.
This time around they are doing Turkish specialty Meze/Mezze plates. Hurry to here if you don’t want to miss out as we arrived here towards the end of the promotion. Here’s hoping they keep some of the better Turkish items on the bar menu for permanent enjoyment..
Price: Around $270 to $360 for 3 Courses. (This Tasting Event was by Invitation)
Ease of Access: 4/5
Food: ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Address : 尖沙咀麼地道64號九龍香格里拉大酒店大堂
Lobby, Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: 2733 8756