Köşebaşı : Turkish Authenticity, Traditional Food

Oman Magazine visits Köşebaşı to experience a true taste of South Anatolia, right here, in the heart of Muscat.

Since 1995, Köşebaşı is the only chain restaurant that is true to the traditional recipes of South Anatolia, offering not only a cultural event, but also an introduction to Anatolian lifestyle. For those of you that don’t know, Turkish cuisine is somewhat of a mixture and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines but also the heritage of Ottoman cuisine. Köşebaşı, therefore, has chosen to specialize in the typical cuisine from the Mediterranean town of Tarsus in Southern Anatolia, which is known for its meat dishes.

Having won multiple international awards, such as the ‘World’s Best 50 Restaurants’ and ‘The Best Representative of The Traditional Turkish Culture’, we were very excited to try this offering in The Sultanate.

Upon arriving to Kosebasi, we were immediately greeted with a resounding “Hoşgeldiniz” from Restaurant Manager, Marwan, who explained the delights in store for the evening and seated us to our table.

The decor is minimalistic whilst detailed. We sat on contemporary red banquette seating with intricate Turkish tiling and mosaics upon the wall. Overhead you will see pairs of large red lamps, symbolic of the traditional Turkish ‘fez’ hat. It’s subtle. Modernity with a clear ‘nod’ to Turkey and all her iconic trademarks.

We left the ordering in the capable hands of Marwan’s team and were certainly not disappointed!

For starters we were brought Turkish Humus. Unlike that of the Levant or GCC, it boasts a richer paste and more dense texture, bursting with chickpeas and topped with melted butter and spice. This dish is far less of a puree than the commercial-sort and in our opinion holds greater flavour.Along with a side plate of pickled salads and olives, the second starter was presented; Yoğurtlu Pancar Salatası (Beet and Yogurt Salad) which although bright pink in colour, was the favourite among the male diners joining our team! It was an incredibly fresh and creamy and paired exquisitely with the warm puffs of fresh turkish bread.

For mains, we sampled all the good-stuff. Kebabs, koftas, minced patties, parcels of ‘Tortellini-esque’ anti and succulent meats galore!

Here’s a quick peak at some of the dishes:

Manti Little dumplings made of seasoned ground lamb with onion, wrapped in a homemade dough, boiled until soft, topped with garlic yogurt sauce and garnished with melted butter and Turkish spices. Very mild in flavour with light notes of mint.

Karisik Kebap The triple threat of Kosebasi is their signature Kebap. The tasty trio consists of tender chicken cubes, marinated beef slices and special lamb kebap. A real crowd (and tummy) pleaser.

Izgara Kofte Minced beef meat seasoned with Turkish spices, cumin and grated onion. Grilled and laid on homemade Turkish bread. Almost like mini burgers without the need for a bun! Aptly served with french fries, grilled tomato and bulgur pilaf. Delicious!

Kunefe For after, we tried the homemade traditional Turkish kunefe stuffed with molten cheese, bathed in sugar syrup and topped with kashta. Unlike other Kunefe’s we have tried, there is no sight of double-cream, rose waters or swimming in honey. This is a crunchy, baked delight that comes with the syrup on the side, to add to your taste. For us, it’s a cheese and sweet-lovers dream. We will surely be back to enjoy this again.All in all, Köşebaşı offers something for everyone. If you’re not a meat-eater, there are still excellent vegetarian options available, such as the grilled eggplant stuffed with an army of veggies and seasonings. It guarantees satisfaction. Plus an array of juicy salads that can be enjoyed as a main, or shared side dish.

A pleasant ambiance, attentive service and fabulously-authentic cuisine. From us at Oman Magazine, we only have one word for it; “lezzetli!”