Thursday, 1 January 2015

Fez Food

This is not Fez Food but a picture of my favourite restaurant
 in old town Damascus, taken back in 2009.
So I decided to start 2015 by going to the only Syrian restaurant I know  in Istanbul. It is over in an area called Yusufpasa which is in the more conservative quarter of Fatih. Generally, when I tell my students I am going over that way their first response is 'Why?' followed by 'Be careful.' I suspect their response is a combination of prejudice, exaggeration and a little bit of truth. Anyway this is the first time I have been there on my own and I have to confess it did have a different vibe to the times I have been with company. Not sinister exactly but I felt watched and I was definitely approached much more than I have been in the past. Happily my restaurant (Fez Food) was open for business and, as I have to come expect from all Syrians, the staff were extremely kind and welcoming. I ordered my supremely favourite dish Fattoush and as it was being prepared a portly Syrian chef came out with a steaming plate of chicken schwarma, bread and yoghurt.
'For you,' he said. 'Free.'
I spoke to him with my limited Arabic and found out he was from Aleppo.
'Aleppo,' he said. ' Big problem.'
I told him I had visited his beautiful city in the past and he put his hand to his chest as if to say thank you.
Suffice to say my dinner was lovely and as I left they all waved from the kitchen, confirming what I already know, that the Syrians are by far the nicest people I have ever met.

May 2015 please bring them the peace they so richly deserve.


Anonymous said...

Lovely stories and sentiments Jo. Keep it up. Wish I could join you for a meal in Istanbul. How is the Syrian vego fare?

Joanna said...

yes lots of lovely veggie choices..i send them cyberly to you xo