Monday, March 19, 2007

Bursa Lenger Kebab

It’s not İskender, it’s even better!
The delicious İskender kebab we all know from Bursa has changed its look and its name and is now to be found in Istanbul, and if you are the type to hit the street looking for a different taste you just might encounter it, though first you should arm yourself with information about this old favorite’s new identity.

The newly opened Bursa Lenger Kebab in İstanbul’s Kavacık district is the place to go. Don’t be dissuaded by the name “lenger,” which is a general term applied to a wide variety of kebabs and rice dishes. The important thing here is what sort of flavor the lenger kebab imparts and be warned, if you are heading out to eat lenger kebab you’d better go with an empty stomach; the full plate before you will be a real challenge and one you will be unable to refuse.

Bursa Lenger Kebab opened five months ago, providing an İstanbul site for one of Bursa’s most famous dishes. Bursa’s fresh and natural ingredients are reflected in all this restaurant’s dishes; the delicious smells of butter, the snowy-white beauty of the yogurt. Not surprising then that lenger kebabs have been rapidly winning a place for themselves in the stomachs and hearts of customers all over Istanbul.

Bülent Başarır, a managing director of the restaurant, noted that he and his partners originally set out to become a well-known brand in Istanbul and spoke about the eatery’s local clientele. “Around noon we mostly get people who work in nearby offices. In the evening we get customers from Acarkent, Beykoz Konakları and Hisarevleri. We also do a lot of deliveries to these places,” he explained.

Another partner in the restaurant, Dursun Duran, noted that new additions would be made to the menu by September. “After many requests we are now thinking about including dishes like Bursa’s ‘çiçek köftesi’ (’flower meatball’) and pirzola (lamb chops).” Duran stressed that the restaurant’s köfte (meatball) dishes contain no artificial additives. The management’s careful attitude toward the customers’ health has one slight drawback: the lenger kebab is not cooked over a coal fire, slightly reducing -- though by no means spoiling -- its flavor.

Bursa Lenger Kebab also offers other Turkish favorites such as Inegol köfte, cheese köfte, butchers’ köfte and Bursa’s famous “breaded köfte.” After the main course diners can also satisfy their sweet tooth with choices like Kemalpaşa dessert or even kabak şekeri (candied pumpkin).

With a staff of nine, the traditionally styled venue seats up to 80 and offers a wonderful Bosporus view. Ample parking is available, making the restaurant a perfect place for a business lunch or, on Sundays, brunch. Ultimately, perhaps the best thing about Bursa Lenger Kebab is that it means that finally one need not go all the way to Bursa to enjoy the city’s fine cuisine.

The restaurant is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
Bursa Lenger Kebab: Cumhuriyet Cad. No: 131 Çavuşbaşı Yolu
Kavacık-Beykoz-İstanbul T: 0216 680 22 70-71-72

Friday, March 16, 2007

Andrew Dalby

Andrew Dalby (born Liverpool, 1947) is an English linguist, translator and historian who most often writes about food history.

Dalby worked for fifteen years at Cambridge University Library, eventually specializing in Southern Asia. In 1982 and 1983 he collaborated with Sao Saimong in cataloguing the Scott Collection of manuscripts and documents from Burma (especially the Shan States) and Indochina; he was later to publish a short biography of the colonial civil servant and explorer J. G. Scott, who formed the collection.[1]

At Cambridge Dalby wrote no books, but many articles on multilingual topics linked with the Library and its collections. He afterwards worked in London, starting the library at Regent's College and renovating the one at London House (Goodenough College), also serving as Honorary Librarian of the Institute of Linguists, for whose journal The Linguist he writes a regular column. His Dictionary of Languages was published in 1998. Language In Danger, on the extinction of languages and the threatened monolingual future, followed in 2002.

Meanwhile he began to work on food history, and contributed to Alan Davidson's journal Petits Propos Culinaires; he was eventually one of Davidson's informal helpers on the Oxford Companion to Food. Dalby's first food history book, Siren Feasts, appeared in 1995 and won a Runciman Award; it is also well known in Greece, where it was translated as Seireneia Deipna. At the same time he was working with Sally Grainger on The Classical Cookbook, the first historical cookbook to look beyond Apicius to other ancient Greek and Roman sources in which recipes are found.

Dangerous Tastes, on the history of spices, was the Guild of Food Writers Food Book of the Year for 2001. Work on this also led to Dalby's first article for Gastronomica magazine, in which he traced the disastrous exploration of Gonzalo Pizarro in search of La Canela in eastern Ecuador, showing how the myth of the "Valley of Cinnamon" first arose and identifying the real tree species which was at the root of the legend.[2] Dalby's light-hearted biography of Bacchus includes a retelling, rare in English, of the story of Prosymnus and the price he demanded for guiding Dionysus to Hades. His epilogue to Petronius' Satyrica combines a gastronomic commentary on the "Feast of Trimalchio" with a fictional dénouement inspired by the fate of Petronius himself.[3]

Dalby's latest book, Rediscovering Homer, develops out of two academic papers of the 1990s in which he argued that the Iliad and Odyssey must be seen as belonging to the same world as that of the early Greek lyric poets but to a less aristocratic genre.[4] Returning to these themes, he spotlights the unknown poet who, long after the time of the traditional Homer, at last saw the Iliad and Odyssey recorded in writing. As he teasingly suggests, based on what we can judge of this poet's interests and on the circumstances in which oral poetry has been recorded elsewhere, "it is possible, and even probable, that this poet was a woman".[5]


* 1993: South East Asia: a guide to reference material
* 1995: Siren Feasts: a history of food and gastronomy in Greece
* 1996: The Classical Cookbook
* 1998: Cato: On Farming (translation and commentary)
* 1998: Dictionary of Languages
* 1998: Guide to World Language Dictionaries
* 2000: Empire of Pleasures
* 2000: Dangerous Tastes: the story of spices
* 2002: Language in Danger
* 2003: Flavours of Byzantium
* 2003: Food in the ancient world from A to Z
* 2005: Bacchus: a biography
* 2005: Venus: a biography
* 2006: Rediscovering Homer


1. "Sir George Scott, 1851-1935: explorer of Burma's eastern borders" in Explorers of South-East Asia ed. V.T. King (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press/Penerbit Fajar Bakti, 1995).
2. "Christopher Columbus, Gonzalo Pizarro, and the search for cinnamon" in Gastronomica vol. 1 no. 2 (2001) pp. 40-49.
3. "The Satyrica concluded" in Gastronomica vol. 5 no. 4 (2005) pp. 65-72.
4. "The Iliad, the Odyssey and their audiences" in Classical quarterly NS vol. 45 no. 2 (1995); "Homer's enemies: lyric and epic in the seventh century" in Archaic Greece: new approaches and new evidence ed. Nick Fisher and Hans van Wees (London: Duckworth, 1998).
5. The idea has been dismissed as "far-fetched" by Anthony Snodgrass on the grounds that a woman would have been "bored out of her mind" when composing the Iliad ( [1]).