Döner is known all over the world, in the States you’ve seen it written either döner, shawarma or gyro. Whatever you call it, the concept is still the same, meat seasoned with spices is skewered and grilled vertically. If you’re a fan of döner kebab (kebap in Turkish), iskender is a MUST to try!
İskender kebap is named after İskender Efendi, a chef in Bursa who in 1867 came up with the idea of combining döner meat with tomato sauce and melted butter. The dish consists of thinly cut, wide strips of döner kebab piled on top of a plate covered in pita. Once served at the table, tomato sauce followed by hot, bubbling melted butter is poured over the dish and is served with yogurt. Additionally, one cylindrical köfte meatball is placed on top as an extra treat.
It’s traditionally ordered by the portion, which is based on how hungry you are. The choices: one, one and a half, or two.
After walking around for a couple hours I was hungry and indulged in one and a half (pictured above). To be honest when the foaming, boiling pot of butter came near the table I was skeptical, but this was one of the most delicious, succulent food experiences to date. Unfortunately it’s extremely unhealthy, but totally worth it! In a sense, it almost tastes like a calzone, without cheese. It’s in my top 10 of favorite Turkish dishes.
Baydöner: Caferağa Mah. Kadıköy Çarşısı, Mühürdar Cad. No:10, İstanbul