When we think Turkish confectionery, there’s merely a handful of spots for kunefe and baklava in Mumbai that offer them in their authentic suave.
Two prime members of this Middle Eastern sweet dynasty – Kunefe and Baklava, absolute delicacies and true gifts from the Turks to the world. Kunefe, kunafa or kanafeh being a string-topped pastry enriched with the richest of the Turkish ingredients and baklava – A heavenly play of filo pasty layers, nuts and honey, the quintessential Ottoman delicacy. Turkish confectionery have been globally celebrated for their crafts and for centuries now, settling at just one bite has been challenging for man. However, tasting this in its authentic form, has been a bigger challenge. It’s true essence lie in local ingredients and local hands, both hard to acquire. This, is where Hurrem’s comes in – A Turkish Baklava house built on the pillars of authenticity and quality. This one-of-a-kind, baklava confectionery is draped in modern elegance yet designed in sheer Istanbulite fashion. Carrying on this torch, they’ve added a much-awaited Turk dish to their menu – Kunefe.
We spent an evening in this wonderful café trying out their new offerings and here’s how it went.
Hurrem’s to Miniya Turk, the best places for Kunefe and Baklava in Mumbai.
As you walk in, you feel like you’ve temporarily left Mumbai and entered a café down the streets of Istanbul. The décor, aromas, furniture and the overall ambience there looks to recreate that vibe. We started off our evening munching on a 3 tier, high tea set that comprised of first, salted and flavored nuts, assorted chocolate coated dates prepared in house and Turkish delights (lokums) and some Meyveli Beyoglu. With an array of sweets to choose from, each playing with Turkey-sourced ingredients, you know you’ll be getting a very local taste of everything you try. While I sipped on my Turkish tea, I wanted to taste something I’ve heard about but never tried before – Kurabiye. It came in four forms – Apple pouch, pistachio dusted, chocolate and caramel. The pistachio and the apple would be my top picks.
Next, Potato Borek and Lahmacun. There’s a catch when indulging in these two dishes. For the Borek, there’s a special paste you need to try it with. The Lahmacun on the other hand, you need to wrap it up with a few sliced vegetables. The Lamhacun’s richness and the crispiness of the fresh veggies, is a great evening snack in my opinion. Of course, while you indulge in this, there’s two drinks to accompany it with – The mixed berry or pomegranate ice tea. Our personal favorite would be the latter.
Finally, it’s time for the Kunefe. You can taste the authenticity with ingredients and method. Each scoop leaves you wanting for more. We accompanied this with a saffron tea which came with a burst of an aroma. This is something to wake you up and put you in a good mood. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Havuc Dilimi with ice-cream or the Cilek Trilece (Strawberry milk cake).
We finished our evening with a plating of Assorted Baklava, the Hurrem’s special and epitome of sweetness. To meet your preference, there’s the signature walnut, pistachio and special makes like chocolate baklava. The experience that Hurrem’s delivers is truly rare. With two Turkish Chefs flown in, both trained in the art in Gaziantep and Istanbul, they make zero compromise in authenticity and quality – Both in ingredient and craft.
There are also a handful of confectioneries in the city that offer Kunefe and similar Turkish experience. Here’s a list of them, you can thank us later – Miniya Turk, Sufy’s Kanafeh Point, FoodeeMentals, Kunafa Hut, Doyen and House Of Kunafa. So there you go, these best of Turkish delicacies you can enjoy in Mumbai.
All images: Courtesy Hurrem’s