On the western coast of Turkey, the town of Alaçatı sways to the light of a thousand glowing cafés. What was once a typically beautiful and sleepy Turkish fishing village has transformed into a hub for glitzy nightlife. People swarm the seaside walkways to see and be seen, arriving in metallic SUVs and humming Italian land rockets. Throngs of bejeweled summer vacationers stream through picture-book cobbled streets and whitewashed roads, but if you can break through the crowds, a fantastic meal awaits. Babushka Restaurant offers the opposite of what Alaçatı is known for: homey seclusion. Nestled in the walled garden of the chef’s home, restaurant goers are transported away from the hum of Alaçatı to the peace of their grandmother’s backyard.
When we visited recently, Olga Irez swept through the kitchen with a mixing bowl, finding a place at the kitchen counter where she could finish the preparations for that week’s dessert. After careful planning she had decided to make tahinli nevzine for dessert, a succulent cake of tahini and walnuts. She easily bantered in Turkish and English, piloting her staff in a space no larger than the kitchen in a typical home.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets .