Karakoy Güllüoğlu

Written by on March 29, 2012 in I Eat Turkey, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(karakoygulluoglu.com) – Karakoy neighborhood, Istanbul, Turkey 

How I heard of this place: My friend Aycan put me in touch with her sister Sevcan when I told her we would be in Istanbul for a few days. This was one of her recommendations for the best baklava in town!   

Type of cuisine:  The epidemy of Turkish baklava. “Besides our traditional desserts such as baklava, börek , delights we also sell pistachio and souvenirs in our Karaköy Güllüoğlu shop. We always have our traditional masters but we also make use of the today’s food technology . We retain our quality also by using the regional goods in the season. We also create new tastes by blending traditional tastes with new trends and consumer wants. Chocolate and fruit baklava and some other specialties as well as Daibak light baklava for diabetes and Medibak ,baklava with olive oil for low cholesterol are some of the examples. Karaköy Güllüoğlu has extended its fame to outside of Turkey because the tourist visiting Turkey already know about our baklava. Karaköy Güllüoğlu has been sending its products to all over the world especially to Greece. Karaköy Güllüoğlu has always realized the firsts in the baklava production and so has become the representative of the Turkish baklava. One of its aims is to make baklava known all over the world and so has been trying to achieve this goal. It is trying to make Karaköy Güllüoğlu A world wide brand name.”

Ambiance: Reaching the center of banking commerce, we were beginning to question the directions we had been given by several locals who smiled ear to ear when we asked for directions to Güllüoğlu, obviously happy that two Americans were in search of the baklava shop in town. Down another small stretch of cobbled street, closer to the waterfront, we turned the corner where we had, undoubtedly, found our destination. The bright red lettering on the pale taupe wall, it seemed the entire ground floor of this tall building was the baklava empire, Güllüoğlu. Bar tables and gold-rimmed stools outside, the glass-front window gives one an immediate understanding of the world of baklava into which she is about to venture. The patio comes next, behind the glass-front, where shiny, dark hardwood floors lead patrons to the interior. The tables in this patio space are shorter, giving way to the leather stump-like cushions upon which dozens are seated. As we debate whether or not to take one of the menus printed in a handful of languages, we decide, instead, to walk in and see what awaits us. The huge room we entered is intricately and elegantly deocrated with graphic tiles in golds and earth-tones afoot, pink, flowers in the space of chandeliers overhead, in the rectangular cut-outs of the ceiling above. Limited seating is available inside, to allow for the masses to walk through and make their selections at one of the many glass display cases covering the range of 3/4 of the wall space. Patrons follow from one glass display to the next, gawking at the baklava, pastires, chocolates and other sweet concoctions created by Güllüoğlu.

What I ordered: Walking through the establishment, against the glass cases, I chose a selection of various goodies for Chris and I to share. We started with a small slice of Ekmek Kadayifi, topped with a dollop of fresh cream, followed by one, small piece of Chocolate Baklava (a first for us!). Feeling the need for something savory, I also selected a minced meat borek (burrek). When Chris saw the tray I was holding, he looked up in anticipation of more sweet, I was tempted to select one GELİN BOHÇASI, but decided to go somewhat more traditional with the ŞÖBİYET, a triangular shaped pastry, stuffed with granulated pisachio and topped with finely chopped pistachio nuts.

What I loved: Surprisingly, the Chocolate Baklava was my favorite, the most intriquing and satisfying on this first visit to Güllüoğlu. Chris most enjoyed the sweet, gooey, soaked Ekmek Kadayifi cake with fresh cream.

Why I loved it: I love being in-the-know with spots that cater more to locals than to the casual tourists wishing only to see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace and call it a day. I also love the baklava. We were unable to find anything comparable in any of our other stops throughout the five-week journey.

Cost: Purchases are made by the kilogram, so prices vary depending on what and how much is selected.

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