The serenity and décor offered up by a restaurant can be almost as important as the dishes it serves. One such spot, where you can feel the difference from other establishments the moment you set foot inside, is İstanbul’s Delta Garden Köfte Piyaz.
Some of the first things that might strike your eye once heading inside are the grand variety of tespih (prayer beads) in all shapes and sizes that line the walls. There are all sorts of interesting and unusual objects as well, not to mention caged parrots (lending their own sounds to the ambiance), and an iguana! Delta Garden boasts a lot of wood in its design, and is thus feels like a naturally beautiful and serene spot. Located in Beylikdüzü, the restaurant boasts not only great décor, but wonderful tastes.
The owner, Ahmet Özyurt, is a true master of food — a magician, if you will. He is one of those people who spends all of his free time trying to figure out how to make the most delicious dishes possible. Of course, the true specialties of this restaurant are, as the name suggests, köfte and piyaz (a bean salad made with chopped onions, parsley and olive oil). And to tell the truth, both the köfte and piyaz salad here are absolutely perfect. Of course, to understand what I’m talking about, you’ll need to go there and taste these dishes for yourself.
Of the five different types of köfte made here, I liked the “kasap köfte” and the “sarma köfteyi” the best. There is also rice pilaf and potato puree served next to the köfte here, and with a side of piyaz so delicious you’ll, as they say in Turkish, be tempted to “eat your fingers!” There is also “piknik köfte,” “pideli köfte,” “beğendili köfte,” “sucuk köfte” and “kaşarlı köfte” available. Let me also add that the Adana kebab I ate here was one of the best I’ve ever had. Perhaps what made the “Adana” so good was that the meat was so soft; it was made from steer steak cuts.
The tastes offered up at Delta are really of a “boutique” variety. All the meat on the menu is left for one day to marinate in special olive oil and tomato paste from Hatay. Meat shish, beefsteak, cutlets, different cuts of chicken, shepherd’s sauté and chicken with Cajun sauce — all of these are just some of the incredible meats you must not miss here. Özyurt notes that he actually learned how to make meat and chicken sauces at a French restaurant in France, though he re-applied his education at his restaurant to fit with completely halal standards.
He says he demonstrates how to cook all his dishes himself first, and then he teaches his head chef how to make them. One of the most significant tastes you will encounter at this eatery is Ahmet Bey’s own Ottoman lokma — unlike any lokma you have seen before. They are hollow in the middle, and very difficult to make. What’s more, he makes them with zemzem water (holy water) which adds a subtle flavor and lightness to the dessert. There are five lokma in one portion, but go ahead and eat as many as you wish; they don’t even feel filling! And don’t forget to drink a glass of natural mulberry juice on the side of whatever it is you are eating!
Delta Garden Köfte Piyaz serves up breakfast in the morning (it opens at 08:30 a.m.), and stays open until 23:00. With a staff of six, the eatery also has a mescid and is quite ideal for meetings, if you have need. The garden here is open in the summertime, and can fit some 300 people easily. There is also a balcony area that can seat 50. There is take-out service available to both Esenyurt and Beylikdüzü. The only thing this special spot is missing right now is you, the reader! So head on over and try these special dishes, and witness this unforgettable ambiance.
Delta Garden Köfte Piyaz’s köfte and piyaz were both incredible. Also, do not miss getting a taste of the Ottoman lokma made with zemzem water.