A Taste of Turkey: Katmer from Gaziantep

Gaziantep may be famous for it’s baklava but there’s another delicious pastry that it is just as well known for: katmer.

Straight from the oven, this sweet, flaky pastry pillow of kaymak and pistachio will have you wanting more. It is usually eaten for breakfast but if you sleep in, it is still perfectly acceptable to have it with cay (tea) during the morning!

On our first visit to Gaziantep we went in search of Katemerci Zekeriya Usta, often mentioned as one of the best in this city . It wasn’t the easiest place to find but we persevered and were handsomely rewarded. Our visit was validated as, on our second trip to Gaziantep we were taken there by our guide from Culinary Backstreets.

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

This time we forego sitting at the outside tables to learn how katmer is made.

How to make katmer:

First you take a small ball of pastry and treat it like pizza dough…flip it through the air until it is quite thin and then stretch it out so that it is even thinner….as thin as tissue paper!

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

Kaymak (turkish clotted cream) is then dotted over the pastry…..

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

…and a layer of chopped pistachio sprinkled on top. The pistachios from Gaziantep are the best you can buy so this could be the secret!

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

The pastry is then folded…..

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

and the katmer is popped into the wood fired oven…..

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

A little while later it is ready to be served…

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

 

Katmer from Gaziantep

Don’t miss tasting this delicious pastry when you visit Gaziantep. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Information:
Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta can be found at Bay Hilmi Gecidi No: 16/C-D
Körükcü Sokak,
They are open until 12 noon.

 

Other articles you may enjoy:
Red Peppers in Gaziantep
Pickle Heaven in Istanbul
Split’s Open Air Market

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A Taste of Mykonos: Kiki’s Tavern

Today I am starting a new series, A Taste of ……. which will highlight some of the delicious food we have eaten on our travels. The focus could be on a particular dish or on a local cafe. As with today’s post, it could also be a fabulous restaurant we visited.

Join me each week as we explore a taste of travel.

Kiki's Tavern in Mykonos

Kiki’s Tavern

“Be there at 12.00! You’ll have to wait for the restaurant to open at 12.30 but you’ll get a table.” These were the instructions given to us when our friends were telling us about Kiki’s Tavern on the island of Mykonos.

It really doesn’t matter if you’re not there at 12.00…. you just join the queue and chat to your fellow diners whilst drinking rosé. There’s even a small beach down the hill that you can disappear to one at a time…you don’t want to lose your spot now, do you!

Outside Kikis Tavern

Waiting outside Kiki’s Tavern

 

 

Waiting at Kiki's Tavern_-2

Kiki’s Tavern overlooks this little bay to the left of Agios Sostis Beach.

 

Hidden Away

Kiki’s Tavern is hidden under trees. There’s no sign to announce it’s presence. Park your car where you can and wander down the gravel road. Turn left at the white wall of the local church next door and walk towards the small bay at the bottom. Here you’ll find the best lunch spot on Mykonos.

Kiki's Tavern

 

The view from Kiki's Tavern

The restaurant is very simple. Tables and chairs are dotted around under the trees. A grill by the entrance cooks the daily specials…fresh fish, octopus, stuffed chicken breasts and the well loved pork chop. Vegetarian options are available..the large field mushrooms looked delicious! The meats are served with a baked potato, the seafood with a small salad. An extensive salad bar awaits you in the tiny kitchen….Start with these as an appetiser and finish the plate with your grill.
Be warned…the serves here are huge. Next time we are going to share an order!

The grill at  Kiki's Tavern

The cooking is all done on this small grill!

 

Pork chop at Kiki's Tavern

My humongous pork chop

 

 

Lunch at Kiki's Tavern

Hiding behind my pork chop is my husband’s serve of chicken…two chicken breasts for one serve!

 

Salads at Kiki's Tavern

Our salad selection!

 

 

Relax under the trees

It was very relaxing sitting back under the shade of the trees, the glorious view yours to look out on, chilled rosé in hand and beautifully cooked fresh food for lunch. We were in no hurry to leave and Kiki’s was in no hurry for us to leave, despite the chatter outside the entrance from those in the queue.

Kiki's Tavern Inside Kiki's Tavern

This is definitely one place I will come back to!

As you leave, pop into the church yard next door…it’s very picturesque and the views are great.

Agios Sostis beach

Agios Sostis Beach

 

Church at Agios Sostis Beach

The church above Agios Sostis Beach

 

Church at Ayios Sostis Beach 1

Church at Ayios Sostis Beach

 

Have you eaten at Kiki’s Tavern?

 

Information on Kiki’s Tavern
Head to Agios Sostis Beach. Turn right just past the entrance to the main beach. Follow this road a short distance to where the road turns right. Park the car where you can and walk to the restaurant.

The restaurant closes around 6pm
Kiki’s is not on the phone. On arrival, say hi to Vassilis and join the queue!

 

Articles you may enjoy:
Breakfast in Istanbul
Eating in New York
A Foodies Tour in Istanbul

 

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Exploring Athen’s Bustling Central Market

Athen’s Central Market is a hive of activity. From early morning to late afternoon, this bustling market is a window on everyday life in the city.

Also known as the Varvakios Agora, Athen’s Central Market has been part of the city’s history for a long time. It was rebuilt on this site in 1886 after fire destroyed the original building. The markets were refurbished for the Olympics in 2004 when refrigeration units were installed to make them compliant with European Union laws.

Athens Central Market

Even with this modernisation, the market still offers glimpses of a life as it was. The meat and fish markets are both in the covered market.

 

The Meat Market

Athens Central Market

Athens Central Market

In the meat market, generations of butchers have worked the same small stall. The old wooden chopping blocks are reminder of the old days but today the meat is displayed in a modern refrigeration unit. Often the butcher will specialise in one animal with every part of the animal on display and sold

Athens Central Market

 

Athens Central Market

 

Athens Central Market

 

The Fish Market

The fish market is next door. That familiar fishy smell greets you long before you start to wander the aisles that are awash with water from the melting ice. There are a few imported frozen lines here but on the whole, the fish are fresh..some are even still wriggling!

Athens Central Market

It’s a noisy place…the vendors call out the daily specials, each trying to be heard over the other creating a fabulous atmosphere to lose yourself in.

Athens Central Market

Interestingly there is one non fish seller in amongst the fish stalls but no one knows how or why he is here.

 

The Fruit and Vegetable Market

Across the road is the uncovered vegetable market. The fresh vegetables are all beautifully displayed. We watched one vendor polish each piece of fruit and meticulously add it to his display.

Athens Central Market

 

Athens Central Market

 

Athens Central Market

 

We were here in Spring… the season for pomegranates, persimmons, grapes and of course those luscious juicy red tomatoes that taste like no other tomato! There were huge leeks about half a metre long, massive flat cabbages similar to those we saw in Turkey and peppers of every size and shape.

Athens Central Market

You could buy fresh olives here to put in brine yourself but if you were feeling lazy, next door was selling any type of olive you desired. I have never seen so many different types of olives…..we counted forty two varieties.  Our particular favourites were the very large ones and the small crinkled ones which were delicious…names unknown!

Olives at Athens Central Market

 

 

Olives at Athens Central Market

 

Over the road, fresh eggs were availble.

Egg sellers at Athens Central Market

Spice and cheese shops lined the footpath in front of the covered market and down the side streets extending the market area but these are the subject of another post. Stay tuned!

 

Other articles you may like:
Udaipur Markets
Rue Montorgueil Food Market
Pickle Heaven in Istanbul
Palermo’s Capo Market

 

 

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Looking Back on our 2014 Travels!

Where has the year gone. 2014 seems to have disappeared quicker than ever before!

The first three months of the year were spent at Rottnest, Western Australia’s island in the sun that is only twenty kilometres from the coast. With clear blue waters, white sand and fresh lobster to be caught and eaten, it was the perfect break after eight months on the road in Europe.

Marjorie Bay, Rottnest Island

Marjorie Bay, Rottnest Island

But it wasn’t long before we were off again……

London
Our travels started in London with a few days spent there to recover from the jet lag, drop off our winter clothes and catch up with friends.

London in summer is a dream….the flowers are out and the city looks fabulous! We walked along London’s Regent’s Canal and tried some of London’s new restaurants.

Summer in London

 

Croatia
Istria
was one of the few parts of Croatia that had escaped us on our previous visit. Surprising as it seems, seven weeks in this wonderful country was not long enough to include this part of the Croatia. It’s actually a little world of its own and we’re glad we could spend ten days there. It’s not the beach escape that visiting the islands in the south is, but more a place to head to in autumn and spring. The small towns dotted over the area are full of history……and good food! Rovinj was favourite……

Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj

We then returned to Vis, our favourite island in Croatia. A week relaxing in the sun, returning to beautiful beach bays and eating fresh seafood.

Vis Island, Collage

Scenes from a fun filled week on Vis

 

Greece
One of the highlights of this trip was spending a month in the Greek Islands. It’s hard to pick a favourite island as those we visited all offered something different. We loved the beaches and their bars on Spetses, lazy days on the car free island of Hydra, the local character of Folegandros and the different personalities of Mykonos.

Greek Islands

We loved the Greek Islands!

 

Turkey
From Mykonos we started to make our way to Turkey arriving in the port town of Kusadasi after an overnight stop on the island of Samos.

Turkey is one of our favourite countries. Our road trip through Turkey last year did not include the west coast so from Kusadasi we headed to Tire, Sirinice and Ephesus before spending five nights in one of my new favourite towns, Alacati.

Turkey

Turkey Highlights

With the centenary of Gallipoli next year, we felt that we should stop here and pay our respects before heading to Istanbul. This, our Anzac Day visit to Villers-Bretonneux last year and our recent visit to the war memorial in Albany have opened our eyes to the part our brave Australians played in history.

Two weeks in Istanbul flew by but I now have more things to do to add to my list of 36 things to do in Istanbul. In the middle of this we flew to Gaziantep for a fabulous three day food tour which I’ll be writing about in the New Year.

 

Italy
Oh Venice…why had we left it so long to come back?
Quite a few years ago we used to visit Venice every year…we loved it but as the crowds got bigger we found new places to explore.

Of course, we fell in love again….what’s not to love about Venice

Venice

Venice

 

Walks of Italy Boat Tour

Exploring the canals with Walks of Italy

We looked at Venice through the eyes of a first time visitor.. we took a fabulous boat tour through the canals, walked and walked and lost ourselves in the backstreets….

 

Piemonte
Piemonte is a special place in Italy for us….our favourite area
!

October is white truffle season and we had timed our visit perfectly. We couldn’t stop eating these delicacies at every glorious meal we had. Did I mention that Piemonte has the best food and wine in Italy?

We went truffle hunting, visited the truffle fair, drank beautiful local wines and, as I mentioned, ate and ate. I really do love Piemonte and still dream about living in Monforte d’Alba.

Piemonte

Good food and wine in Piemonte

 

Athens
I hadn’t been to Athens since the 70s so it was great to be back….thanks to TBEX, a blogging conference!
Athens has changed of course…..

It’s all ways been a bustling city but now there are cafés on every corner, fabulous food to be had and an awakening of the city after the global financial crisis.

One of the highlights was meeting one of my facebook readers. Eleni was a charming hostess and showed us corners of the city we may never have found. She happens to be a foodie, a cooking teacher and runs culinary tours so we had a lot to talk about!

Athens

 

London
It was now time to start heading back to Australia…but not without a few more days in London.

The highlight was seeing the Remembrance Day Memorial at the Tower of London called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ where a sea of 888,246 red poppies covered the moat representing each British death in World War 1. It was a very moving installation.

London's Remembrance Day Memorial

The red poppies flow over the bridge to the Tower of London

 

Paris
Paris is always a good idea! If only I could have stayed a month….

Frank Gehry is one of my favourite architects so there was no way we were going to miss seeing his latest venture, The Foundation Louis Vuitton which has just opened.The contemporary art on display is interesting but it is the magnificent building with its curved sails of glass covering the white walls and wooden and steel beams that is the star. Don’t miss it when you next visit Paris!

Foundation Louis Vuitton

The entrance to the Foundation Louis Vuitton

 

The Louvre at night

The Louvre at Night

 

Melbourne
Not quite home but back to our ‘second’ home in Melbourne.
Our eldest daughter lives in Melbourne so we spend quite a bit of time here catching up with friends, trying the new restaurants and seeing what’s happening. There’s always something on in Melbourne. This time it was the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. For those of you that remember the ‘enfant terrible’ of the fashion world and for those that don’t, it is a superbly curated exhibition. It’s been on a world tour and on January 8th heads to Paris.

Jean-Paul Gaultier Exhibition

Remember these?

 

Perth
With Christmas looming, it was time to head home!

What a year it’s been…what an incredible 20 months.

This week we have been moving back into our home. You may recall that we rented our house so we could travel freely for this time. This was a fantastic idea that worked for us….the packing and unpacking of a few household goods was definitely worth it.

Apart from an unexpected longer stay in Perth at the beginning of this year, we have been on the road….living out of a suitcase and taking in all the world has to offer.

I’m probably looking forward to hiding that suitcase for a little while but don’t worry…I’m busy planning our next trip! It may not be for as long but we’ll never stop travelling!

Thank you for joining us on our travels be it here or on Facebook and Instagram. I love connecting with you all and sharing our travels.
I’d like to wish you all the best for a fabulous, fun filled year in 2015.

Other articles you may enjoy:
An Introduction to Istanbul for the First Time Visitor
Postcards from the Kimberleys
The Secret of Finding the Best Turkish Small Hotel
Where to go in Jordan

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Merry Christmas….

 

Merry Xmas 2014

The festive season seems to arrived quickly this year!

Once again it’s that time of the year to reflect on the year we’ve had.
Personally, it’s been a year of ups and downs. We experienced the cycle of life all in a space of two weeks with the excitement of the arrival of a healthy grandson and the sadness of the death of my beloved father.

We’ve had a wonderful year of travels. These personal experiences meant that our travels were for not as long but we still managed be on the road for a fabulous four and a half months exploring London, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Paris which you can read about next week in my final post for 2014.

 

Thank you all for your continued support here and on Facebook and Instagram. I love reading your comments and hearing where you’ve been or where you’re going and meeting you whenever our paths cross.

I would like to wish you all the best for the holidays and hope that 2015 brings you and your families a year of health and happiness.

 

 

 

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