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Apr 21
Tuesday
Reviews (Eats)
Şeyhmus Kebab: The Rhythm of the Knife

Şeyhmus Kebab, photo by Ansel Mullins

We’ve committed a lot of space on this blog to identifying the taste, smell and sight of a seriously good kebab, but it was not until we sat in Şeyhmus Kebap Evi (on a tip from chef Gencay over at Meze) that we came to know what delicious kebab actually sounds like.

Had we previously known the sound of the zırh blade’s rhythmic roll over large cuts of lamb, we could have followed our ears through the side streets, past the jewelers near Atik Ali Paşa Mosque to the brisk lunch in progress at this little kebab shop. In his open kitchen, Vakkas Usta works the zırh, a heavy, curved, scimitar-like knife, on a thick wooden slab and it sounds like a steam engine chugging at full speed.

Each day starts here with a pile of choice cuts of beef and lamb, the place closing down around 5 p.m. when the meat runs out. It has been that way since the mid-1970s, when Şeyhmus (pronounced “Shay-muhs,” like the Irish poet Heaney) himself was still working the counter.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.

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