Sunday, June 2, 2013

Uptown Cravings: Turquoise Turkish Restaurant

There is one restaurant in SM Cagayan de Oro that is almost criminally underrated. It has been open for several years already and is probably one of the more interesting eateries in the city; serving a unique and interesting menu featuring dishes that carry a Middle Eastern and Balkan flair. Yes, I'm talking about Turquoise Turkish Restaurant. Now, before one suspects that I have taken leave of my senses; there is more to that establishment besides its gaudy furnishings and mysteriously foreign menu items. I suggest one should take time to check in and just read their offerings.

Being a Turkish restaurant, Turquoise offerings are halal, meaning the meat is prepared according to Muslim ritual. That means a lot of beef offerings but also vegetarian dishes too. The dish I had when I visited the place was Hummus with Lawash bread. Hummus is mashed chickpeas blended with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. It is a dish that is quintessentially Middle Eastern, though it appears also in selected Mediterranean cuisine. I really like the texture of hummus and the various flavors in it. It is great to pair it with bread or in this case lawash or cracker bread. I spread it liberally on a piece of lawash, roll it, and dig in.

Hummus with Lawash bread
The Turquoise menu actually has dishes familiar to even the least adventurous diner. It has grilled meat skewers, stews and salads. Their offerings isn't entirely Turkish but contains a variety of courses from both Western, Middle Eastern, Balkan and Filipino cuisine.

It is great to have place like this where one can indulge one's international epicurean fantasies. I don't have to leave the Philippines to taste something Middle Eastern. There aren't many restaurants that offer what they have and it is in a convenient location. So if you're feeling adventurous but can't fly, let your taste buds do the  traveling for you instead.