Tag Archives: ice cream

Turkey in 2 Weeks – Day 15: Karakoy

On our last day in Turkey, we met up with my boyfriend’s friend from university who lives in Karakoy, a commercial neighborhood in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul.

But first we stopped by one of the many fishing boats along the Bosphorus and picked up some fish sandwiches “balik ekmek”, one Istanbul’s favourite fast food.

Balik Ekmek "fish sandwich" along the Bosphorus. Istanbul, Turkey

Balik Ekmek “fish sandwich” along the Bosphorus. Istanbul, Turkey

So simple but so delicious: fresh grilled mackerel with onion on a crusty bun.  Loved it!

Balik Ekmek "fish sandwich" along the Bosphorus. Istanbul, Turkey

Balik Ekmek “fish sandwich” along the Bosphorus. Istanbul, Turkey

Fishing boat along the Bosphorus. Istanbul, Turkey

Fishing boat along the Bosphorus. Istanbul, Turkey

Leaving on a ferry to Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Leaving on a ferry to Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

We took the ferry across the Bosphorus to the European side, such a beautiful day for a ride out on the water.  Karakoy was a lovely change of pace from the old city – a bit more relaxed and less chaotic, more of a European feel.  We wandered through downtown Karakoy and then down a pretty pathway by the water, stopping along the way for a beer and some shisha.

Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

We had “kokorec” – a lamb intestine sandwich for lunch – his favourite food and I can see why!  Soft and spicy with a bit of crunch, I enjoyed every bite.

Kokorec (lamb intestine sandwich), Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Kokorec (lamb intestine sandwich), Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Even the ice cream is amazing in Turkey!  Cherry, honey cream (wow, what a delicious flavour) and Italian caramel, shaped into a flower just because.

Cherry, honey cream and Italian caramel ice cream, Karakoy, Turkey

Cherry, honey cream and Italian caramel ice cream, Karakoy, Turkey

Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

We met up with his wife and they took us out for an incredible dinner at their favourite local restaurant.  Up on a rooftop we drank lots of Raki, and ate raw meat sandwiches “cig kofte”, spicy eggplant and tomatoes with pomegranate and walnut – such a feast!

Cig Kofte (raw meatballs), Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Cig Kofte (raw meatballs), Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Eggplant and onions, Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Eggplant and onions, Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

But the highlight of the meal were the lamb ribs.  Tender and spicy with crispy skin, these ribs were one of the tastiest foods we had the whole trip.  We have for sure polished off a whole lamb while traveling in Turkey!  Such a lovely way to end our trip, with good company and good food.

Lamb ribs, Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

Lamb ribs, Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey

We went back on the ferry and walked across the Galata Bridge, admiring Istanbul with all the mosques lit up at night.  Thank you Turkey for such an amazing adventure!  Everyone we met was so nice and helpful, I loved learning about your culture and your history, and of course, I loved eating all your delicious food!  One day I will come back…

Restaurant Review: Michi

MICHI
4848 Yonge Street, North York
Phone: 416-224-0075

When Michi opened earlier this year I was worried. Over the years, the strip on Yonge just north of Sheppard seemed to be a jinxed location, and with numerous Japanese restaurants right around the corner, I was curious to see what Michi had to offer. Michi, the Japanese word for “method”, is empty for a Friday night. Elegant and cozy, the restaurant is sparsely decorated except for a brightly lit Christmas tree. Seating is also available at the sushi and sake bar near the back.
Restaurant Review Michi
Service is prompt and polite and the waiters keep the green tea flowing into our ceramic teacups. We begin our quiet meal with some aged dashi tofu ($4.00) and nori dumplings ($6.95). The cubes of tofu are deep-fried in a bonito sauce. While the lightly battered cubes are piping hot, they sit in a lukewarm fish broth that is bland, adding little to the dish. The dumplings on the other hand, are like delightful seafood presents. Diced shrimp, scallop and shiitake mushroom are wrapped in seaweed and deep-fried. The soft seafood is enveloped in the crisp wrapping and somehow avoids being too salty.

Restaurant Review MichiRestaurant Review Michi

Michi offers a healthy selection of sushi and sashimi as well as a variety of noodle dishes. No bento box combinations are available for dinner, which suggests a higher standard is set for the quality of their food. While many old favourites are available such as the Dynamite or the Green Dragon rolls, a few new rolls intrigue me and I order the Yamaimo Spicy Tuna ($6.50). Chopped, spicy tuna with caviar is paired with crunchy mountain yam that has a similar texture and taste to sugar cane, and the slight sweetness offsets the spice nicely.

Restaurant Review Michi

A true test of any Japanese restaurant is their sashimi, and so as an early Christmas present to myself, I order the Chef’s Signature Sashimi dish ($17), and wait in anticipation for ten pieces of the chef’s special selection.
The price is right for the gourmet selection that is too pretty to eat. The chef’s sashimi is a colourful variety of fresh sake (salmon), ika (squid), maguro (tuna), uni (sea urchin) aji (horse mackerel), hotate-gai (scallops) tai (sea bass) and pickled herring that sit amongst red and green caviar and daikon (long white radish).

Restaurant Review Michi

The herring is wrapped in a crispy cucumber shell and the texture is nicely accented with bursting salmon roe. The horse mackerel is covered with a good dose of Korean barbecue sauce, giving the thick cut a tasty punch. The lightly grilled sea bass doesn’t need the smothering of oily sun-dried tomato-like dressing. Chewy and tender squid leaves a decadent silky aftertaste, the green caviar an extra bonus. The sea urchin wrapped in tuna however, disappoints an otherwise intriguing selection. The shiso leaf overpowers the tuna and urchin, with the final egg wrap leaving little complimenting flavour.

As I swim in my sushi and sashimi dishes, I’m concerned for my fiancée who has ordered the apple pork special ($11.95), and for a moment I think that we’ve accidentally ordered an appetizer as a main course. The two small pieces of slow cooked pork belly are said to be in an apple juice and sake reduction served with creamy miso, mashed Yukon potato, asparagus and mustard sauce. While I admit the sinfully fatty port belly is quite filling, I find only a faint apple taste stands out. The asparagus is crispy, but the thin layer of potato adds little to the dish or a hungry stomach.

Restaurant Review Michi

I’m excited to finish off our meal with some tempura ice cream ($5.50). This summer, I had deep fried breaded ice cream in Kyoto and have been dreaming of it ever since. However, this time, I’m disappointed to find the green tea ice cream melting in a thick breading that seems more frozen than fresh and lacking any resemblance to a tempura that has been deep-fried.

Restaurant Review Michi

Despite a few minor misses, I found Michi a refreshing addition to the strip and feel as though their “method” is striving for more than just another Japanese bento box restaurant. With gourmet fresh cuts and unique takes on some dishes, I feel as though Michi can beat the jinx.

Restaurant Review Michi

Lunch specials available.