Honça – Turkish Dining Fit for a Sultan
If Anatolian cuisine brings thoughts of colourful appetisers, mezze, and delicious Turkish home-style cooking to mind, you'll find plenty of what you're looking for in Berlin. At Honca, a heightened gastronomy awaits you – food worthy of a Sultan.
The corner restaurant is decorated affectionately and reminds me of a few of the elegant restaurants we visited during my time in Istanbul when we had occasion to celebrate.
I feel as if I'm in a Konak, one of the stately Anatolian mansions where the dark wood, colourful kilims, and spacious rooms are streaming with comfort and elegance.
The menu sounds exciting, drawing from Anatolian and European influence. I don't recognise several of the dishes as coming from any specific region. And you can believe me when I say that I know Turkish cuisine very well. I love the variety and rich spices.
From the kitchen's greeting, I'm sold. A classic yogurt soup with finely minced vegetables, along with meat-filled vine leaf rolls. Superb! A very exquisite and simultaneously modern interpretation of a Turkish classic.
The appetiser takes us to the Eastanatolian province of Siirt. I'm familiar with the beef-filled fried bulgur balls, but here they're served in a more unusual cooked variation with spinach sauce. Even this kind of preparation of one of my favourite dishes has me completely smitten.
There are some surprising dishes on the menu, like the scallops, duck breast filet, or the "catch of the day" pike, which I never would have expected in an Anatolian restaurant. But it's clear that everything has been prepared with love by experts, and we're blown away.
Even though the dishes don't seem like typical Turkish cuisine at first glance, they're all rounded off with traditional trimmings and classic Anatolian spices. Elegance and sophistication aren't just found in the restaurant's aesthetic, but in the unusual and exciting dishes.