My favorite place for burma kadayıfı (shredded wheat rolled around a load of toasted pistachios, then sweetened with syrup) is Saray Muhallebicisi inIstanbul‘s Beyoglu district, on İstiklal Caddesi not far from Taksim Square.
Okay, that’s a mouthful: saray (sah-RAH-yee) means “palace,” and muhallebicisi is a maker of rosewater pudding (of all things).
Rosewater pudding was a big deal in Ottoman times. Saray has been here since 1935, so I suppose a lust for rosewater pudding survived the fall of the empire and lingered into republican times.
You can still order a portion of the bland white dessert at Saray, but I never have. I go for the baklava, burma kadayifi and other, more flavorful and substantial Turkish desserts.
In fact, all sorts of light meals, sweets, desserts, cakes, tea, coffee and soft drinks are served here. Just look at all that good stuff in the photo of the window.
—by Tom Brosnahan