Along with French and Chinese, Turkish is considered one of the three great cuisines of the world. This might surprise you, but consider the following: Turkish cuisine lies at the heart of the Ottoman Empire, which covered three continents for 600 years – that’s 600 years of spice trade, by the way. Caravans of Western and Eastern seasonings found their way from the trade routes and into Turkish mother’s kitchens resulting in some masterful culinary creations.
Sanlitun is home to a charming restaurant that respects the origins of Turkish cuisine. Aptly named, Turkish Mum provides an authentic and enjoyable dining experience. The food is unpretentious and hearty; our meal started with a selection platter of local staples: hummus, pickles, tabooli and a mashed vegetable salad (RMB 48). To follow, we sampled some teeny little lamb dumplings (mante) served in a yogurt and garlic sauce – perfect for kids. The alinazik (RMB 68) – char-broiled, smoked and spiced eggplant served with baby lamb and the dolma (RMB 45) – peppers stuffed with ground meat, rice and spices, were prepared with home-cooked charm.
The ambience is rustic, with Turkish trinkets and art lining the walls. The restaurant doesn’t aim to amaze anyone as much as it does to comfort and please, making it a place that really takes its name to heart. Michael Connors
Turkish Mum 土耳其妈妈
Daily 11.30am-11.30pm. 3 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (8532 3979) 朝阳区工体北路3号