Hidden Treasure

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

We are quickly learning that in this tiny, seemingly unremarkable town, there is plenty of beauty below its rough surface. Not only in the kind and thoughtful people we have met, but in some charming places that exist behind closed doors.

Before they left, our homeowners took us to lunch at a tiny, unmarked restaurant just off the main street that serves authentic dishes in a completely restored traditional Turkish house. Being creatures of habit when it comes to good food, we’ve since returned to indulge in the delicious dishes and absorb the cultural atmosphere. And you can bet we’ll do it again several times before we leave.

This is Mantı – easily our favorite Turkish dish so far. It has a small, meat filled pasta (sort of like a tortellini), covered in a yogurt sauce. Chili oil and dill are sprinkled on top:


The owner is a kind and quiet man who graciously let us tour the house after lunch. This is an eating area with low tables and cushions on the floor.


For decoration there was lots of colorfully embroidered cloth.


Aged trinkets in various states of repair are on display throughout.


Next time we hope he’ll let us in the kitchen. 🙂

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  1. Once again fab photos. I don’t like Manti but hubby adores it. I tried to cook it once!! Well, instead he ended up heading to a restaurant. Love the old radio in the last picture.

  2. Hmmm…I’ve never met a pasta dish I didn’t like, but chili oil and yogurt? That’s not something I think I’d put together with ravioli. I’m going to need more than just your word to try that one.

    1. Yogurt is used very often here, and I didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. The chili oil really makes this dish. But, you’re just going to have to man up and try it yourself! 🙂

  3. That manti certainly looks good, looks like a very cozy place to have great local food. I Also thought it was a some kind of museum at first…

  4. It was so nice of the house owners to take you to this lovely place. You may never have found it by yourself. I love the randomness of travel. Enjoy!
    Loving your posts on Turkey.

  5. ok, I’m sorry but I think I have to stop reading your blog till you get out of Turkey. Or could you at least stop talking about Turkish food??!! JEALOUS! (and hungry) 😀

  6. Sounds like a great experience! I’m not sure about pasta and yogurt sauce, but maybe I’ll try it when we’re in Turkey in about a week.

    1. I wasn’t sure at first either, but SO GOOD. I seem to be putting yogurt on just about everything now… I hope you enjoy 🙂

  7. Fantastic pictures and I am so hungry now! I will definitely keep my eye out for Mantı when I am in Turkey in a few weeks! Thanks for the great food idea!

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