Exploring The Turkish Kitchen Blog

I had the pleasure of visit Çiya şofrası on the Asian side of Istanbul on my first visit to the vibrant metropolis – I was on a budget and researched the trip to try and fit it in. It didn’t take me long to find mention after mention of this ‘Lokanta’ a Turkish restaurant that specializes in homemade style food. At that time I knew very little of the restaurant, homemade, non-touristy food or even what a lokanta was. We saved up for the meal and on our final day we headed over the Bosphorus Strait by ferry and after a day exploring the Asian side and a visit to the Florence Nightingale museum we headed off to find Çiya.

Surprisingly the food was all ready and laid out under heating lamps like a department store restaurant but to consider the delightful dishes anything like the department store fare would be a crime. Led by the serving chef we had an amazing selection plate of tastes and ended with patlıcan tatlısı (sweet aubergine with ice-cream).

I remember the entire meal being a treat and the shock of finding out that our dinner turned out to be the cheapest meal we had through the entire trip!

So with excitement, I sat down to start the new series. Musa Dağdeviren is the founded of this collection of restaurants (this wonderful lokanta & two kebab houses) and it was amazing to hear him explain why the food and heritage mean so much to him alongside the path he took to bring him into opening the first Çiya kebab.

Passionate about the history of Turkish cuisine and keeping alive the gems of the Turkish kitchen Musa Dağdeviren is all about the food itself irrelevant of its background or ethnic origins.

I had no idea that this wonderful restaurant I’d visited had just an important role to play in Turkish cuisine and that the founder is, in fact, a food historian and so passionate about the culture of Turkish foods. It was really inspiring and educating for me and I felt even hungrier for more than just the ‘taste’ of Turkish food.

I hope I’ll get to visit Çiya again in the future God willing but for now I’ll be sitting down shortly to watch this episode again and to take notes! I’ll also be searching high and low for more background and info of this wonderful ambassador of Turkish cuisine and hopefully, I’ll be able to attempt some of the wonderful dishes he and his staff prepare.


Catch Musa Dağdeviren on episode 2 of ‘Chef’s Table’ now.


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