This Turkish buffet will transport you to the heart of Istanbul

The mere thought of turkey conjures up images of mouthwatering kebabs, pides, and sweeter than sweet baklava. Dishes that should be easy to prepare in Dhaka, but they don’t always seem able to do it right.

Either the skewers are too dry or they don’t have the right spice mix, baklava not having the right pistachio ratio, the list is endless.

So when Dhaka’s newest 5-star hotel, Sheraton, announced it would be bringing chefs from Turkey, guest chefs Ahmet Güler, Sait Dursun and Mehmet Aslan to showcase Turkey’s delicious culinary heritage, we had to. see for ourselves.

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Signature delicacies include classic eggplant karniyarik, light Hunkar Begendi, rich and vibrant Guvec, traditional potato Oturtma and a range of melt-in-your-mouth skewers including adana kebab, urfa kebab and beyti kebab.

The Sheraton started with Turkish cuisine thanks to its Turkish pastry chef Erhan Demir, so you know you’re in good hands – and its access to other Turkish culinary artists.

The buffet also included a selection of hot and cold table-side dishes (Mezze) by guest chefs Sait Dursun, Mehmet Aslan and Ahmet Güler. It was hard not to stock up on those alone.

Ezme salad – a spicy concoction of tomatoes and olive oil will tickle all taste buds and not your typical salad. The Turks have a knack for turning the simplest ingredients into the star of the show.

Chef Demir explained how local produce was considered when choosing the menu for this week-long festival.

“We sat down to see what ingredients were available in Bangladesh, and we decided on the menu like that,” he revealed.

While Turkish and Bangladeshi dishes have rich flavor profiles, Chef Demir points out a key difference in the two cuisines.

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

“The lack of spice in Turkish cuisine and its lingering presence in Bangladeshi cuisine is what really sets them apart,” he added.

Although the menu was constructed with local cuisine in mind, the hindquarters of a lamb were hard to come by, an essential ingredient in Turkish cuisine, according to Demir.

Due to unavailability, they decided to use other parts of a lamb that still retained the flavors at their best ability.

Among a variety, the selection of desserts prepared by the chef includes a Turkish staple, baklavawith the walnut and the pistachio, folded into filo pastry and washed in a divine syrup.

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The Ottoman Food Festival is located on the 14th floor of the hotel at the Garden Kitchen.

It features Byzantine and Ottoman architectural style with blue lights adorned with traditional Turkish motifs.

Rezaur Khan, Sheraton Dhaka’s Room Manager, said, “The Sheraton is more of a community setting, we look forward to seeing many different types of guests at the festival and in our banquet hall.”

Sheraton is building on the fine dining experiences, swimming lessons, banquets and other miscellaneous facilities that a 5-star hotel can offer, and the opening of the Garden Kitchen, where the Ottoman cuisine festival is held, plays a essential role in attracting international customers. , and people in the local community, he also said.

“For example, we are now targeting Turkish cuisine. We will use this kitchen to push Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Embassy in Bangladesh, and reach out to this community to bring them in as well,” said Daniel J Muhor, Cluster General Manager at Sheraton Dhaka.

Although this is the first since the Sheraton opened, the Sheraton’s international food festivals are meant to be part of its cohesive branding, possibly repeating every two months.

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Muhor explained how their long-term return on investment (ROI) from the Ottoman Food Festival and other similar festivals in the future is to leverage the time taken by international chefs to train local chefs in the preparation of these authentic dishes.

“Once the festival is over, we keep them to train our local chefs,” he said.

The main partners of the festival are Brac Bank and Visa.

A 1 buy-1 free offer is also available from more than 15 partner banks during the festival; much of the food festival’s clientele is also driven by banks, according to Muhor.

“Our target customer base is still our regular customer base, which is driven a lot by our banking sponsors and banking partners,” he said.

The buffet is priced at 8,500 Tk, with Turkish cuisine only available during dinner.

Profits are part of the main concern to keep down the costs of bringing in international chefs. However, prices are still tilted to favor customers to keep inflationary hikes at bay.

“We’re running at the same price as we normally would on a Thursday or Friday, so we haven’t really raised prices.” Muhor concluded.

The festival will end on September 9, so you have a week to experience Turkey’s best culinary offerings right in the heart of Dhaka.

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