Begendik Abi, Urla

Begendik Abi, Urla

Submitted on: 30 May 11

Category: Mediterranean Cuisine,Turkish Cuisine

Restaurant Rating:

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Elena's Review:

Begendik Abi: Homemade Food with Flair

Begendik Abi boasts a reputation for being one of the best restaurants offering homemade-style food in Izmir’s Urla. Even the name playfully touts the meals here: “We’ve enjoyed it, brother.” To use a pun: we did.

Begendik Abi has a spacious entry floor with a dozen tables and a smaller garden by a creek downstairs at the back. The restaurant is situated next to an Urla mosque called Tatar Cami, so you can have a table with the view of this fine example of Islamic architecture. After the meal, feel free to browse the neighboring streets, many of which feature artisan workshops (look for Zafer Caddesi). You’ll probably need to take a walk after dining at Begendik Abi anyway.

Food-wise, one specialty of Begendik Abi — and that’s no surprise for Urla — is the olive-oil-based selection of appetizers. Make sure to try such classics as stuffed pumpkin blossoms (kabak çiçeği dolması), stuffed vine leaves (sarma), and stuffed artichoke (enginar dolması). The restaurant also offers a great selection of meat dishes.

We ordered a stuffed baby goat rib cage cooked in a special oven for about four hours (note: unless you’re planning to spend hours at the restraurant, place your order by phone before you come). The meat was soft and the skin finely roasted. While some patrons may fear that such a dish would have a heavy smell, we’ve detected none, as it was masked with the fragrance of herbs and spices. The pilaf used to stuff the rib cage received its taste not only from the meat but also from herbs and pieces of kidney added to the mix. Together with the salad, this dish was in excess for seven people, and it cost 180 TL (about 26 TL per person). It was well worth it.

A pleasant suprise from Begendik Abi was their offer of a homemade red wine, light in taste and rich in color. Most places proffering homemade food in Turkey have no alcohol on the menu (mainly because of high taxes and complex regulations). Roasted meat such as the stuffed baby goat rib cage had called for some wine.

Coffee at the end of the meal is served in traditional-style metal cups with decorative lids. The desserts, both pastry and milk-based, were delicious and, thankfully, very light.

Begendik Abi offers a culinary delight for any carnivore, and its location in picturesque and artisan Urla guarantees a wonderful weekend retreat from Izmir city center. If you don’t have a car, several buses and minibuses (dolmuş; including the Urla-bound dolmuş from Uçkuyular) pass by, and the restaurant is conveniently close to the Urla post office and the mayoralty (belediye).

How to Get Here:

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Address: Camiatik Mh. Tatarcamii Sk. No:12 (Malgaca Pazarı), Urla – Izmir, Turkey.
Tel: 0232 754 20 71

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