With all of the anticipation of local elections in March, the scandalous graft-laden tapes leaked via social media, the communication fog brought on by the ban of Twitter and YouTube and the subsequent call for a vote recount in many cities, this city’s stomach had good reason to be distracted. But one cannot survive on a diet of daily news alone. In case you all forgot, Spring is here.
“Sultani bezelye rule!” exclaimed Şemsa Denizsel, chef-owner of Kantin , when we recently stopped by for lunch at her Nişantaşı restaurant. Like a favorite uncle in town for the holidays, these sugar snap peas brightly decorated one corner of the plate that held our bahar salatası, a simple “spring salad” that featured all our favorites of the season, including chunks of artichoke hearts and vividly green fava beans. The artichoke pilaf was another March love letter, but the darling of our spring fling at Kantin was a soup of chicken stock and broad beans (aka fava beans). This homey, country-style soup hit a note on our palate that Turkish food rarely finds. In a rush, memories of fresh-from-the-garden meals eaten throughout the American South pleasantly accompanied this bowl of soup down to the last drop. Although it was not on the menu when we went, Şemsa promised she would soon be serving one of our favorites, the delicacy kokoreç , grilled intestines of spring lamb. She has recently added a new, simpler branch of Kantin in Bebek with prepared foods and wonderful baked goods.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets .