Debating Manti in Istanbul
Manti, Turkish dumplings, are the source of many a heated debate. Where's the best spot for manti? What is the best type of manti? etc.
While trying to remain neutral I will list of few places with different sorts of manti as a starter to what I hope will be a great manti debate.
1. Traditional Kayseri Manti- typically a smaller dumpling with a light meat filling, boiled and topped with a garlic-spiked yogurt dressing. In Istanbul its easy to find a good handmade manti but Gonul Abla, over on the asian side in Moda takes it to another level. She makes it to order.
2. Foreign Manti- two manti's come to mind in the category: Uighur manti, the big bindle stick variety stuffed with meat and onions. We found a great Uighur place in Fatih recently serving these up. And Circassian manti which look more like a pot sticker and are sometimes filled with a potato hash. These are excellent and hard to find. Ficcin in Beyoglu has them as a special sometimes.
3. Unorthodox Fried Manti- manti generally implies a boiled preparation. But why not fry them? Bodrum Manti in Arnavutkoy has thrown out all conventions- stuffing with spinach and cheese, wheat dough and large, fried manti.
I'd love to hear about your favorite manti experiences.
I've inserted links to my favorites.
I would highly recommend the Manti at the tea-park at Pierre Loti. Pierre Loti is a charming spot with a commanding view of the golden horn at walls of the old city on the european side. Up at the top two village women making manti before your very eyes assured me this is as good as you'll ever have. As good as mom will make. They were right. you can't beat a Manti made seconds before it's boiled. This is the place
I had a dinner with manti when in Istanbul recently, at Marko Pasa restaurant in Taksim. The manti are freshly made, a very short time before they're cooked. and are served with the "garlic-spiked yogurt dressing" you referenced in your remarks.
What I enjoyed about this particular restaurant is the making of the food in the front window, front part of the restaurant and I was seated at a two-top on the opposite side of the glass from the women making the food.
Photos of the manti I'm referring to can be found when you use this link:
A second link of the cooked dish malfunctioned and, by editing, I have deleted it. I'll try to upload it from home later today.
Istiklal Caddesi Sadri Alisik Sokak No. 8
Taksim - Beyoglu - Istanbul