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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Ultimate Istanbul Turkish Food Tour - JUICY Kokoreç, Balık Ekmek (Fish Sandwich), and Lahmacun!

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- There were a lot of foods that I was really excited

to eat when I came to Istanbul, but this one dish

which is called kokorec is one of the things

I cannot wait to try and I'm gonna try it right now.

(upbeat music)

Good morning, everyone, it's Mark Wiens

with in Istanbul, Turkey.

Walking through Taksim Square now

and we are on our way to go eat breakfast.

(chill music)

Walking through Istikal Street at 7:45 in the morning,

it is nice and quiet.

(chill music)

We came to this restaurant which is just off

Istikal Street and they are famous especially

for serving menemen which is a type of egg dish.

It's chicken with eggs. - Thank you.

- Thank you.

I ordered a dish called menemen which is Turkish

scrambled eggs and I got the one

with Turkish sausage as well.

It looks beautiful, it came to our table sizzling hot,

just boiling over.

There are peppers and tomatoes and the sausage in here.

Before I dig in the bread, I just gotta go in

with my fork.

Wow, look at that texture.

It's almost like gravy in texture.

That really smells like chorizo and eggs.

Oh that Turkish sausage.

I have a feeling this is just gonna be like

a sponge of fire so I'm gonna let it cool down

for a little bit.

Mm-hm, oh wow.

That's awesome.

Yeah, it's like, it's only half cooked, just lightly cooked

so it remains really, really moist and juicy.

And then that Turkish sausage is brilliant.

A little bit spicy and then the texture

of that egg is unbelievable.

Let me follow that with a little bit of tea.

Hot tea and then let me try my next bite

with some bread.

Whoa, that's some pretty solid bread.

And then you take pieces of bread, break off a piece

and I'm gonna go with kind of a scoop and mop method.

Oh yeah, you need to get a close up of this texture.

Just come to look at that, it's almost like cottage

cheese in texture.

That is awesome and I don't think there's any cheese.

At first I thought there was cheese

but I don't think there's any cheese in it.

Got a little salad here with tomatoes and chilies

and maybe that's olive oil.


Yeah, this is very light.

I think olive oil and maybe just a little squeeze of lemon.

And then this one is another very common Turkish breakfast

kind of spread.

I think it is the clotted cream with honey.

You take a little bit of this.

I think with some honey, clotted cream and honey.


That's like rich and creamy and honey sweet.

I think that is cream but it has a butter texture to it.

I also got some olives and I think this is cheese.

Let me taste an olive.

Oh yeah.

It's like a little bit of a withered olive,

it's almost like a raisin olive.

I think I'll go in with an olive as well

all in one bite.

Take out the pit.

It's quite a salty cheese and then it's very soft

and spreadable and then that combination with the olive

makes it taste really good.


This is like a completely new style of egg

that I've ever had.

That was an amazing way to start the day.

That Turkish sausage just flavored the entire

scrambled eggs and I love that texture

of the scrambled eggs.

When we came in here it was a little bit quiet,

now it's packed.

It is still a nice quiet morning in Istanbul.

We are walking down the hill towards Galata Kulesi

which is the Galata Tower.

(chill music)

It cost 25 lira for entrance to the top

and we are getting into the elevator now

to go to the top for the view.

(chill music)

It was built in 1348 in a medieval Roman-esque style

and at the time that it was built,

it was the tallest building in Istanbul.

What you do is you just take an elevator to the top here

and then walk to the top and you can get a full 360 view

of the city.

What's really great about this place

is just it gives you a sense of the magnitude of Istanbul.

You can hear the birds, you can really sense

the contrast of the ancient city to the modern.

You have amazing views of the Bosphorus sparkling

in the sunshine, the boats.

Over in the distance, across this way,

you can see the Ayasofya and the Blue Mosque.

Just some incredible views from here

and what I like about it is you have a 360 view,

you can walk all the way around.

(chill music)

I'm glad we went to the tower right as they opened

because it was really quiet.

I can imagine that if it's really busy,

it will take away from the ambiance and the amazing views.

You'll probably be rushed up there.

By going right as they open, that was a fantastic idea.

I enjoyed those views.

They also have a restaurant at the top

but it's pretty overpriced.

So we are now heading down to the water's edge.

We had some great views of the bridge from the tower

and now we are walking across the Galata Bridge.

This is an inlet of water from the Bosphorus.

The Bosphorus is over that side, but this is called

the Halic which in English is sometimes referred

to as the Golden Horn because of the way it's shaped.

It's another major waterway in Istanbul.

It connects the old part of Istanbul with the part

of Istanbul that we're staying in.

We are walking across it by foot.

The water is such a deep blue color.

Along this bridge, it's especially a favorite fishing spot.

(chill music)

Walking across this bridge, you can smell the aroma

of the sea breeze, you can smell a little bit of fish

in the air.

It makes me just wanna hang out and go fishing all day long

and then eat the fish.

Then over there on the top of the hill there,

that is the Galata Tower where we just were.

Sit right there, no?

Finished walking across the bridge and there is a treat

at the end.

There are some well known boats that serve a fish sandwich

which is called balik ekmek.

I think it is mackerel which is grilled

and they grill it on the boat.

But then they have little seating areas on the solid ground

so you're not rocking while you're eating,

but I just ordered one sandwich and as soon as you order,

they grab a piece of the pre-cooked fish filet

and they stick it into a big bread loaf

and then add in some lettuce and onions

and along with the fish sandwich, what's really great

about this place is the ambiance.

You have a great view on both sides.

You're sitting on the water's edge and this is an amazing

part of Istanbul.

Oh yeah.

I see the attraction in that.

That's really good fish.

It's buttery, a little bit oily and mackerel

is one of my favorite fish.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's mackerel.

Got some lemon juice, some bottled lemon juice.

Sprinkle some of this on, a good dose of lemon juice

and I think I'll sprinkle on a little bit of salt.

That is not open, or maybe it's stuck.

Okay, I think that should be good.

It's a very simple sandwich but I do love the fish.

The grilled fish was good.

Grilled fish is one of my favorite things.

I think it would've been improved had they given me

a fresh wedge of lemon as opposed to the lemon

in the bottle, but it was still good.

I love this ambiance.

There are a number of boats along this stretch here.

I think they pretty much all serve the same things,

so we just chose one.

We crossed over the road and we are now entering

into the Egyptian bazaar which is also known

as the spice market.

There are lots and lots of spices and nuts

and dried fruit and all sorts of cheeses and olives

and candies.

Look at this amount of nuts.

(exotic music)

A microphone for audio.

Thank you.

Hello, sir. - Hello.

- [Mark] Can I have one kilo of cherries please?

- Cherries, 12.

- [Mark] 12, okay, one kilo please.

- Thank you. - Yes.

- Thank you. - Thank you.

I guess or maybe you should not, I will though.

Apricot, apricot.

I think this is an apricot.


Oh that's wonderful, sweet and juicy.

Ying really loves cherries so we stopped to buy

a kilo of cherries and now we are sampling fruit

at this store.

(speaks foreign language)


We do not get cherries in Thailand, that is a treat.

It's juicy and just perfectly sweet.

Not too sweet but that's wonderful.

Nice to meet you.

- Hello, hello, welcome.

- We were just walking around the outside

of the market now and I've just come inside

and again there is just a bounty of colorful things.

This is my kind of a market.

So many spices and aromas.

You can smell coffee, you can smell cumin,

you can smell turmeric, the chilies.

Maybe some incense in the air and some perfume

and the Turkish delight.

There's so many colors and aromas in this market.

Nice to meet you. - You too man.

- Yes, still filming.

We are just walking out of the Egyptian Bazaar now

but what I loved is that not only did they have

so many different spices but there are so many

different herbs and flowers, the different zaatars,

the saffron, the roselle and many things

I don't know the name of but there's such an abundance

of different flavorful ingredients.

Oh and the sumac, lots of different kinds of sumac

and dried chilies as well.

(upbeat music)

From the Egyptian Bazaar, we are walking up the hill

towards the Suleymaniye Camii.

Istanbul is a very hilly city and that means

you exercise when you eat.

I needed that little exercise.

This is another one of the dominant mosques

that you can see on Istanbul's skyline.

The entrance courtyard area has a very similar

feel to it as the Sultan Ahmed Camii, the Blue Mosque.

Again this is a huge open court yard.

What really stands out to me are the chandeliers

are so interesting especially the one in the center.

It is a giant circle which hangs from the ceiling

from the ceiling dome and just these little light bulbs

hanging off of it.

It just looks like ancient and medieval.

(chill music)

And also there's a nice view of the Bosphorus

and the Golden Horn from here.

I can see over in the distance the Galata Tower

where we visited this morning as well as the bridge

that we crossed and also where we ate the fish sandwich.

That was well worth the visit at the mosque

and now we are walking back down the hill

on our way to go eat again.

(chill music)

- Hello. - Hello.

(speaks foreign language)

- Oh, thank you.

Oh wow.

There were a lot of foods that I was really excited

to eat when I came to Istanbul but this one dish

which is called kokorec.

Which is a combination of, I think it's mostly intestines

but maybe some other organs as well

which are grilled over fire in a circular shape

is one of the things I cannot wait to try

and I'm gonna try it right now.

It's kind of a street food stall because everything

is open air and all of the tables are out on the sidewalks

in kind of this little neighborhood square.

It's a busy place but at the same time

it's kind of quiet and peaceful and you can hide away

underneath the foyer here to eat.

A lot of people will order the sandwich

where he chops up some of the meat and some

of the intestines and sticks it into a loaf

and eat it like a sandwich.

But I had to go for the plate.

He very delicately and expertly sliced it into pieces

and just arranged it onto this plate.

Then he sprinkled on some zaatar I think

and then also some chili and actually while I was

taking a video of him preparing this plate,

he gave me sample so I've already tasted it

and it is amazing.

You can see that is a pure beautiful golden,

almost red color on the outside.

Then on the inside, it just looks like wonderful,

white gooey oily meat.

- [Ying] One, two, three.

- On video, Ying, what is your name?

- Hassan. - Hassan, OK, Mark.

- Mark. - Mark.

The owner chef, he has just come over

and he told me to eat it right now while it's hot and fresh.

So I better start eating before I,

I better stop explaining it and just eat it.

Oh, that is stunning.

It has a wonderful kind of bitter taste to it.

Then it's like really crispy on the outside golden edge.

But then really soft and you can like feel the texture

of the intestines on the inside layer.

What's also really good is the combination

of that really crispy, crunchy edge

on the top.

Then with the really soft, oily, kind of fatty

down interiors.

Add one piece.

And there.

Maybe I'll try this pickle next.

Ah, I think these are chilies.

I think I'll add that there and then go for it.

Okay, I love that.

That is amazing.

That bitter taste, that chili, the herb taste

of that zaatar, the crispy to like creamy, fatty intestines.

You've got a nice lamb flavor as well.

That is like a mild pickled chili.

Have some more of these pickled chilies to my plate,

these are really good and they complement the dish

really well because of the refreshing pickled brine

with the pretty, fatty intestines but they're so good.

Break a piece of that bread.

This is a nice bread as well.

It almost has that swiss cheese look to it.

All those crunchy bits are just insane.

Grab a chili.

One's sliding out.

That's like just oily, buttery, bitter intestines

and it's wonderful.

(speaks foreign language)

That kokorec was fantastic, I loved it

and also right here they have a little stall set up

where they are serving something called midye dolma

which are mussels which are filled with a combination

of spices and rice and filled back into the shell

and then served like that.

It's a very common street food here in Istanbul.

But as I've been walking around, I haven't really noticed

many street food stalls selling it.

So maybe it's not season, so I thought since they serve it

right here, this is my opportunity.

I'd better taste it right now.

That's a pretty good sized mussel there.

Pull it open.

Oh there comes from that side.

Oh, wait.

When you open up this side.

Oh and I think the mussel is maybe underneath here.

Then you give it a squeeze of lemon.

I think the way you eat this is you take off,

a little piece of the mussel came off on this side.

You take the other side of the shell

and you kind of loosen it up.

Then kind of scoop the whole thing into your mouth

in one bite.


Oh wow, that's awesome.

The rice is really gooey.

It has an amazing, I think it's cinnamon in there.

Kind of a sweet spice flavor.

That contrasts the sourness of the lemon, that's delicious,

I need one more.

There we go, I got the mussel on the top there.

Squeeze on some lemon.

That rice is like the texture of pudding

and just that mild blend of spices, that lemon,

and it just sort of melts into the mussel.

That is marvelous.

Thank you.

There's no better way to end a meal of roasted baby lamb

intestines than with a cup of tea.

Yeah, this is fantastic.

That was a great meal and also not only the kokorec

was delicious but also those midye dolma.

Those were excellent.

- Together photo. - Okay.

- Together, together, you two together.

- Very nice to meet you. - Nice to meet.

- Nice to meet you. - Nice to meet.

Yes, Migrationology.

All food, YouTube, on YouTube.

Thank you very much.

- Thank you. - Thank you, very nice.

Again not only was the food spectacular

but the staff and the owner, they were so nice and friendly.

Highly recommend for kokorec in Istanbul.

You've gotta come check this place out.

They will hook you up with some incredible kokorec.

We are now walking towards the Grand Bazaar.

We made it to the Grand Bazaar and not only is this one

of Istanbul's oldest covered markets,

but it's one of the oldest covered markets

in the entire world.

Dating back to 1455.

I've only been walking around the market now

for about 10 minutes but literally everything

that I have seen on the streets around Istanbul so far

are available at the Grand Bazaar.

From carpets to clothes to silverware to utensils

to glassware to everything in between.

Also there's food, there's spices, there are all sorts

of textiles and pillows and lots and lots of glassware.

Everything you can imagine that is from Turkey,

you will find at the Grand Bazaar.

What sets this market apart from other markets

or other bazaars is it's housed within this ancient

structure which dates back to 1455.

Not only are there so many things for sale,

and just a browsing paradise but you also have

a piece of history.

Chai, please, yes. - Two?

- [Mark] One, two, yes, please.

(speaks foreign language)

Thank you.

(speaks foreign language)

- [Mark and Ying] Thailand.

- [Man] Thailand.

(speaks foreign language)

- Taiwan. - Thailand, Bangkok.

That's some nice strong tea.

Mm, that's good.

We have been walking around the Grand Bazaar for awhile

and we are pretty worn out so we are catching an Uber

back to the hotel.

Gonna rest for a little while and then go back out again

for dinner.

Hello, is it Uber?

Yes, okay, thank you.

(chill music)

We are waiting at the bus stop this evening.

Gonna try to take a bus to an area of town

to eat dinner tonight.

Traffic is pretty heavy and our bus is pretty packed,

but we are on our way now.

It didn't take too long.

We got off the bus, I think this area's called Ortakoy

and we are going to go to a restaurant around this area.

Oh, this is the place right here, Ying.

This restaurant specializes both in kebabs

but the main reason I came here was to eat lahmacun

which is a flat dough which is topped with meat

and it's a very famous Turkish dish.

I'm starting off with ayran which is a yogurt drink I think.

(speaks foreign language)

Mm, that is sour and salty.

And very rich and buttery, that's good,

that will go good with the tomato-y bread.

Also to start with I got a kubbeh and this is a very

common kind of snack in parts of Levant as well.

I think it's bulgur wheat with meat on the inside.

I'm gonna squeeze a bunch of lemon on it.

All right.

That is one of the more delicious version that I've had.

It's packed with meat, you can taste lots

of onions in there.

Mmm, that's delicious.

- Photo? - Yes, photo and video.

Thank you.


(speaks foreign language)

This is the lahmacun which this place is really famous for.

Ying already had a piece, she enjoyed it.

We got the spicy version so there's chilies on there,

I think there's some zaatar as well or some kind of herb.

It is fired in a burning oven and it's very thin.

It's almost like cracker thin.

I think what I see people do is first squeeze

on some lemon.

I'm gonna squeeze on a bunch of lemon.

Then I think you're supposed to sort of roll it up,

pick out the seed and eat it like a roll.

Oh, yeah.

The bread is very thin and a little bit crispy

but then a little bit chewy at the same time.

You can taste that minced meat.

You can taste the herb in there.

When I ordered this dish, I had no idea

it was going to be this big.

On the menu in the little photo, it looked like

it was about half this size.

This is giant and it's similar to a calzone

but then quite different as well.

It's shaped like a boat or like a trough

and just filled with meat and I think tomatoes

and maybe parsley in there and then baked

in an oven as well.

Look at that, that's just like meat bread.

Mmm, that bread is definitely a lot thicker

than a lahmacun and it's more of a chewy bread

but then very, very crusty.

That's just like pure meat and bread.

But really good meat and bread.

Follow that with some ayran.

That's a good combination.

And then finally the last dish I ordered

and I actually had no idea what I was ordering.

But this is their special kebab here.

It almost looks like a Chimichanga plate,

but there's a kebab inside and that's wrapped in dough

and then also baked.

Oh and there's cheese in here too.

Oh wow.


That is the winner right there.

Kebab, and cheese stuffed within a piece of dough.

Then roasted in that oven and maybe with a little bit

of a tomato sauce on top and some sesame seeds.

That is awesome.

For my next piece of lahmacun, I'm gonna add a bunch

of vegetables to it.

Stick this all into the middle.

I think this is what most people are doing.

And then I'm gonna go on with some lemon again.

That lemon is almost finished.

Let me grab the other lemon.

This will be like a salad roll.

The lemon is the touch I love.

And then again just wrap this all up.

This is a very popular restaurant.

They are getting a lot of takeaway orders

as we are sitting here.

Oh yeah.

A cracker, thin crust, salad roll.

That was another great meal and all three of the things

I ordered were much different and I've had this problem

since coming to Turkey that I've been kind of over

ordering I think because maybe I'm accustomed

to Asian food so much where, well especially in Thailand

where the portions are kind of small.

So you order like five or six dishes between Ying and I.

We always order five or six dishes.

Here, they are huge and I was imagining that trough

to be like only a quarter of the size.

I could not finish all of that bread.

Had to get a takeaway bag and I'm gonna bring

that back to the hotel with us for breakfast tomorrow.

A shout out to

for this recommendation.

That's where I found this place.

This is a great place.

I'm gonna end the video now.

We're just gonna head back.

Thank you all very much for watching today's video.

It's been an amazing food day actually.

We've eaten, I think I've tried quite a few

different dishes and wandered around Istanbul.

Another fantastic day.

Please remember to subscribe if you're not already

subscribed for lots more food and travel videos.

I will see you on the next video, thank you for watching.

(upbeat music)

The Description of The Ultimate Istanbul Turkish Food Tour - JUICY Kokoreç, Balık Ekmek (Fish Sandwich), and Lahmacun!