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Where to find Turkish mantı in Toronto?

So I'm craving the above dish something fierce and actually finally joined Chow just to ask this question. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if someone here knew the answer.

If you're familiar with it, you likely know that the Turkish brand of mantı generally consists of ground beef or lamb encased in dumplings, which are then topped with an obscene amount of garlicky yogurt and variations involving combinations oil, butter, red pepper, and caramelized tomato paste.

In terms of places I know of that serve the dish in Toronto, I've heard Anatolia Restaurant in Etobicoke does, and there used to be a place on the Danforth called Champion Kokorech that I'd been to a couple of times, but they've since been bought out and the new restaurant under different ownership there no longer has it. Mantı is a fairly take-out friendly dish, and that's what I'm hoping someone can point me to where I can take some out; I make the trek between Scarborough and downtown Toronto often, so if anyone could suggest a detour I'd love to hear!

-3m

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  1. These restos all serve manti. I can't recommend any one in particular as I've never tried the dish. Alara is probably closest to you. It's from the same people who started Pizza Pide.

    Turkish Grill (Wilson, west of Dufferin)
    http://www.turkishgrill.ca/ourmenu.html

    Nephes (on Yonge St, between Finch and Steeles)
    http://nephes.com/Menu.html

    Alara (Sheppard & Victoria Park)
    http://alararestaurant.webs.com/entre...

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    Pizza Pide
    949 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

    Alara Restaurant
    2044 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M2J, CA

    7 Replies
      1. re: toveggiegirl

        I went to Alara for the first time last night and tried the manti. The appetizer portion was huge and comfortably fed both me and my SO and left little room for the pides we ordered. Creamy, garlicky, tangy, drizzled with chili oil and sprinkled with some oregano (?), it was delicious! Then again, it was also my first time eating manti. SO approved and he is picky since he is used to having home made mantoo all the time. As bunnylicious explains below, SO also noted the same differences and I look forward to trying mantoo soon.

        In conclusion, definitely try Alara!

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        Alara Restaurant
        2044 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M2J, CA

        1. re: LTL

          That's great to hear! Did they have anything else you enjoyed?

          1. re: toveggiegirl

            The meal came with a complimentary starter of warm bread and a plate of baba ghanoush and hummus. Typically, I dislike the former but I loveeeed this version. So smooth, creamy and tasty. The hummus was good too, but clearly outshone by the baba ghanoush.

            I also tried the Lahmacun (Ground beef blended with pepper, onions, parsley and herbs on a thin crust dough, spicy) and Sucuklu Kasarli (Turkish sausage & Mozzarella cheese) pides. The first was tasty but flavour was much more delicate than I expected. Also, not spicy at all! The second looked like a pepperoni pizza and had a thicker double-layered crust that was crispy and flaky when you bit into it. The Anatolian sausage made this pide an absolute showstopper - filled with a ton of spices and heat, it added a nice balance to the delicate flavours of the other pide. I alternated between a slice of each pide. Both pides came with the usual accouterments of parsley, lemon wedge and onions. There was also pickled red cabbage slices and carrot slivers. FYI, the pides come pre-sliced in small squares so you don't have the option of rolling it up as one long tube, which I understand is the more traditional way of eating pide.

            I washed the meal down with some Ayran and finished with some baklava. Can't wait to go back!

            BTW, the meal ended up costing just over $40 - incredible value as we had 3-4 servings of pide left over. There was only one other table there that night while I was dining.

            1. re: LTL

              I've been to Alara several times now and have always enjoyed the food and service.

              1. re: LTL

                Sounds like a bargain. Thanks for the details. I wonder if they would sellcontainers of baba ghanoush to go.

        2. I've had yummy takeout manti from Shirin Kebab House (north side of Eglinton, barely east of Vic. Park), and recently made some frozen manti purchased from Marche Istanbul (3220 Dufferin).

          1. Afghans have the exact same dish and it's called mantoo. They also have aashak (veg dumpling)

            I've heard that Taste of Afghanistan has very good mantoo, I haven't tried it myself. You can see a picture of it on their website: http://www.tasteofafghanistan.com/ind...

            1 Reply
            1. re: sasgirl

              Taste of Afghanistan does indeed have delicious mantoo. However, I think there are some nuances between the Turkish and Afghan versions of this dish. The ToA dumplings are generally much larger and served with chickpeas/lentils, whereas the Turkish and Armenian versions I've had are much smaller and not served with legumes. Certainly worth trying if only to appreciate regional differences :)

            2. Zeitoun Restaurant on the Danforth has a dish on their menu called "Turkish Ravioli". I inquired about it, and it sounded similar to what you describe, but you might want to call ahead and check.

              (416) 465-1989
              980 Danforth Ave

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              Zeitoun
              980 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1M1, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: Pincus

                I think this is the same place formerly known as Champion that the OP mentionned. It's good to know they might be making manti now!

                1. re: Pincus

                  Zeitoun Restaurant offers homemade "Manti" (Turkish Ravioli). It is prepared and cooked in the restaurant.

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                  Zeitoun
                  980 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1M1, CA

                2. Ah, thanks for the thread. I had some in Montreal last year and they were amazing... There was an old lady making them in the window of the restaurant (it was a slow night by the time I got there) and it caught my eye so I stopped in to inquire what it was and got a dish of it. Going to try it in Toronto sometime soon, this thread will be useful!