You know that moment when new friends start to feel like old friends? The people who you meet at a new job or something? At first it’s all super politeness and trying to make a good impression…but a few proseccos down the line you start to feel really relaxed in their company and everything feels easy as if you’ve known them forever?
That how I’ve come to feel about the people I’ve met through blogging and why I was very much looking forward to a night spent with Emma, Aftab and Mina. Not only are the people now old friends, but the restaurant kind of was too…Kazan, a Turkish restaurant in Victoria, is one of my regular haunts for a date night with Mr S. I was keeping our little spot a secret until now but it’s time to spill the beans about this fantastic place.
Talking of old friends, one of Mina’s best friends for years actually owns Kazan, which is another reason why it was the perfect venue for our blogger catch up.
Pomegranate seeds drifted through our prosecco like a lava lamp as we discussed our latest news, Emma and I both have our birthdays coming up so we discussed what our husbands may have up their sleeves.
Mezze platters were bought to the table and we soon tucked in. That’s what I love about Turkish food, there’s always something for everyone and we loved the Ottoman inspired feast of tabbouleh, tarama, felafel, smoked salmon, prawns, borek and hellimi. I’m a big fan of Turkish flat bread too and all those dips were the perfect way to enjoy the warm wedges of bread. One reason why we love Kazan so much is the intimate and friendly atmosphere, that’s why it’s perfect for sharing plates, there’s a real convivial family feel to the place.
Aftab chose the Andana kofte, a dish from the south of Turkey that blends chillies and minced lamb and he chose the option of chips over rice. If you’re looking for a meaty fix and want something even heartier, Mr S usually goes for the rather epic Ottoman Grill which basically includes every type of meat that you can think of. Here the history of Turkish cuisine is emphasised whilst still introducing different flavours, a modern take on Ottoman cuisine. Similarly the interior has touches of Turkish delight whilst still feeling modern and stylish.
Mina went for the seafood option and a monkfish and prawn kebab chargrilled and served with bulgar wheat.
Emma’s choice really would delight any sultan and she chose a traditional Ottoman dish of stewed spiced lamb on smoked aubergine mash.
I know it’s not the most exciting choice but having been to Kazan many times before I know what I like there and the kebab of marinated chicken is really succulent and tender and served as a generous portion size. It really is something that you could have again and again.
Aftab choose a typical Turkish favourite, baklava, a sweet pastry brimming with chopped pistachios with the sugary taste of honey syrup and a cooling accompaniment of rose ice cream.
Emma’s apricots stuffed with clotted cream and walnut rolled in pistachio looked incredibly tasty.
And Mina loved her Turkish syllabub. Something I’ve tried never myself encompassed raspberries soaked in a cherry brandy, served with Cointreau and orange blossom syllabub topped with pistachio.
Some of us had arrived feeling tired from a busy week but there’s no doubt that we left Kazan feeling inspired by each others experiences and energy. That’s the best thing about blogging when new friends become the people you see all the time…relaxed and familiar just like an experience at one of your favourite restaurants.
PIN FOR LATER:
93 – 94 Wilton Road
Our meal was complimentary.