Palace of Pastry
A saray is a palace. Muhallebi is bland, gelatinousrose-water pudding, a treat that was quite popular in the time of the Ottoman Empire but which has suffered seriously from the onslaught of other, sweeter treats in modern times.
So this is the Rose-Water Pudding Palace.
People would rather eat tulumba, those honeyed little pastry “barrels” in the center of the photo, or–my favorite, to the right of the tulumba—burma kadayıfı(“twisted pastry”), shredded wheat rolled around a core of pistachio nuts and soaked in honey and syrup. (The burma is in a heap just beneath the ‘R’ in ‘İSKENDER KEBAP‘.
I have burma kadayıfı every time I stop at the Saray onİstiklal Caddesi, but I wait until I get to Bursa to have the heavenly İskender Kebap. which isn’t a pastry at all, but rather, grilled lamb with savory sauce and butter. More…