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Where to find Turkish mantı in Toronto?

ThreeEm Nov 22, 2010 10:52 AM

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!


  1. Food Tourist Dec 4, 2010 05:33 AM

    Konak Grill and Shawarma on Lakeshore in Mimico (west of Parklawn) is excellent. The large sign does not have the word "Konak" so it's hard to spot as it just looks like a generic shawarma takeout place. There are only two tables, but if you eat in, they will give you tea. The husband-and-wife team are great and the wife worked for many years in a big fancy restaurant so has the necessary skills with Turkish cuisine. Tasty manti and many other delicious items. We didn't love the tiny cigar rolls -- too little filling but nice taste.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Food Tourist
      Food Tourist Dec 6, 2010 07:00 AM

      I went to Kitchener on the weekend and searched for my favourite Turkish restaurant at Homer Watson and Bleams -- only to be faced with a Mister Safety store. She said the Turkish owner's wife got very ill so they sold the business, and the subsequent business (a halal Tandoori place) closed down soon after.

      1. re: Food Tourist
        Food Tourist Dec 6, 2010 07:00 AM

        BTW, the good Mimico Turkish takeout place is called "Doner and Shawarma" on the sign above the entrance.

      2. m
        mikefly Nov 26, 2010 03:58 AM

        Ok, this sounds so yummy! Anywhere in downtown or central/west Toronto?

        And more importantly, where to get turkish baklava. I've never had better than in Antep. mmm.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mikefly
          radiopolitic Nov 26, 2010 04:25 AM

          You won't find any baklava in Toronto resembling what comes out of Antep. Hell, you can barely find Antep quality baklava in Istanbul.

          Back to manti. I haven't been in Toronto for quite some time now so I'm not sure what has become of the Turkish food scene but I'll have to check when I get back.

          There are actually many different kinds of manti.

          -The traditional that has been mentioned here.
          - Regional Black Sea style manti which is covered with crushed walnuts on one side and the traditional garlicky yogurt, oil, mint, sumac and crushed red pepper flakes on the other.
          - Fried manti (which has a different name and many different fillings - chicken, spinach, potatoes)
          - Empty manti (called 'liar manti' in Turkish)


          1. re: radiopolitic
            mikefly Nov 27, 2010 01:29 PM

            @Radiopolitic, agreed - but even the mediocre and expensive baklava in Istanbul is better than I've had in Toronto.

            Still wondering about a more central Toronto recc for Turkish. Any help out there?

        2. t
          ThreeEm Nov 24, 2010 11:09 PM

          Thanks everyone; a lot of gems in this thread and the chances of me trying one of these places in the next week are pretty high. If I like what I taste I'll definitely report back.


          1. y
            ylsf Nov 23, 2010 02:02 PM

            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!

            1. p
              Pincus Nov 23, 2010 12:50 PM

              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

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

              2 Replies
              1. re: Pincus
                julesrules Dec 4, 2010 09:59 AM

                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 Jan 29, 2011 09:06 PM

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

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

                2. sasgirl Nov 23, 2010 10:41 AM

                  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
                    bunnylicious Nov 25, 2010 03:22 AM

                    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. s
                    Squidney Nov 23, 2010 06:46 AM

                    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. t
                      toveggiegirl Nov 22, 2010 11:01 PM

                      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)

                      Nephes (on Yonge St, between Finch and Steeles)

                      Alara (Sheppard & Victoria Park)

                      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
                        evansl Nov 23, 2010 12:43 PM

                        Nephes is long gone.

                        1. re: evansl
                          toveggiegirl Nov 23, 2010 01:10 PM

                          Oops. Thanks for the correction!

                        2. re: toveggiegirl
                          LTL Nov 25, 2010 12:54 PM

                          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!

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

                          1. re: LTL
                            toveggiegirl Nov 25, 2010 06:57 PM

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

                            1. re: toveggiegirl
                              LTL Nov 26, 2010 01:09 PM

                              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
                                Pincus Nov 26, 2010 02:18 PM

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

                                1. re: LTL
                                  toveggiegirl Nov 27, 2010 02:36 PM

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

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