During my recent visit to Turkey, we visited Antalya bazaar. The men of the household very quickly decided to make a strategic retreat and leave our wives to the insane bartering of the market. Whilst Mrs Haloodiefoodie happily spent our hard earned cash, my thoughts turned to the picture a friend posted of his KFC Triple Zinger Burger!
After making enquiries in the local shops, we were told the KFC could be found in Antalya’s newest shopping centre, MarkAntalya. Following the tram tracks, we made it through the various shopping districts, food, textiles, lighting, and eventually found the glass clad building.
As we entered MarkAntalya we were informed that KFC could be found on the top floor. Going up endless escalators we finally saw the Colonel smiling countenance from afar.. Unfortunately (for KFC) we got diverted by these rotating slabs of beef and our eyes popped out!!
We had inadvertently found Mark-et Premium Butchers who prepare dry and wet aged meats. Conveniently, Mark-et also has a modern chic restaurant attached. We could see glowing ambers of charcoal through the large viewing glass. Our grins exceeded that of Colonel Sanders, as we began to salivate over the thought of the premium aged beef cuts available.
After much deliberation we chose two 60 day aged T-Bone steaks and a huge 60 day aged Argentinian Steak and requested the beef to be cooked medium. The beef was cut off the bone, the hardened outer surface was trimmed, it was seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked on a red hot charcoal fired cast iron griddle all in front of our eager eyes!!
Whilst we were waiting the friendly waiting staff brought us an intriguing Beef Broth Palate cleanser served in shot glasses. Unusual yes, but it served to increase our anticipation of the impending meal. We could taste an undertone of the umami beefiness, which was subtle and thus perfect as a palate cleanser!
Our food arrived with roasted veg, spiced mash and other accompaniments. The T-Bone steaks had a deep crust with fantastic grill marks. They were cooked slightly more than requested to Medium well and so wasn’t as tender as we anticipated. Next time, I’ll request medium rare!! On the plus side the meat was seasoned correctly and had the intense savoury umami goodness associated with aged meat.
The Argentinian steak didn’t have a deep crust, but had wonderfully rendered fat especially due to the high level of intramuscular fat marbling which resulted in a unctuous and succulent piece of beef. This steak was also slightly overcooked although the high fat content made up for this. Personally, I felt the steaks lacked a sauce and would like to have had a deep full bodied beef jus or gravy served with the steaks to take the dish to another level.
Mark-et’s regional manager came to ask us about our dining experiences and was fascinated to learn that we were ‘foodie’ tourists from the UK as we explained our great difficulties sourcing good quality aged Beef. He promptly ordered free desserts on the house!
We were expecting a plate of Baklava. And we’re pleasantly surprised to see a traditional Turkish pumpkin dessert called ‘Kabak Tatlisi’ brought to the table. The candied pumpkin was served with tahini sauce and chopped walnuts.
The dessert was lighter and less sweet than I had expected and the tahini sauce and walnuts complimented the subtly sweet and soft texture of the pumpkin.
The steaks were 150TL/Kg (Approx £37.50/kg) cooked with all the accompaniments. Total cost excluding the complimentary desserts was around £50 for three carnivorous diners and young Master Haloodiefoodie! A very reasonably priced meal for the aged beef steaks on offer.
Overall, Mark-et is an unique dining experience. If you want to select cuts of aged beef and have them cooked all in one place, then look no further than the finger licking good beef at Mark-Et, Antalya.
http://www.mark-et.com.tr/ (website under construction)
Halal Status: Confirmed by owners. No alcohol is served at Mark-Et.