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Instead of discussing what I consider interesting issues about restaurants and cuisines I get personal and idiotic remarks that have nothing whatsoever to do with restaurants and cuisines and everything to do with me personally

 

Why? Have you something to say about Tukish restaurants or not? I can only assume that these personalised comments are covering up a lack of knowledge in restaurants and cuisines and more to do with a need to come up with a load of personal blather instead. :lol:

 

My own remarks weren't the least bit personal, I had no idea who you were. To be honest if I had known you were the "carb-laden stodge" guy I wouldn't have bothered responding at all.

 

So far you have called several people's posts (including mine upthread) "idiotic", whereas people have been far more kind with your posts than the content deserves.

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So far you have called several people's posts (including mine upthread) "idiotic", whereas people have been far more kind with your posts than the content deserves.

 

What is "idiotic" is turning the conversation away from food and restaurants and cuisine order to make personal remarks about the poster. It means that the substantive conversation cannot proceed because people wish to haggle about personalities rather than address the food issues

 

So, in an attempt to proceed, I ponted out that Lebanese restaurants in London are of a far higher standard than Turkish or Greek ones. You have said that the ingredients quality is higher in the Lebanon and that's great. However in London Lebanese restaurateurs have made a real effort to convey a high quality dining experience in numerous restaurants. The same applies in several Morroccan restaurants, where the food is of a noticeably high standard. But Turksh restaurants remain mired in the kebab house concept and not a single one has transcended those limitations. Greek restaurants, which preceeded Turkish restaurants time-wise, have disappeared off the culinary map in London because of the inability of the Greek restaurant trade to address this issue and to offer a higher quality dining experience to diners who want more than bouzouki music and plate smashing. Peoples' dining requirements progress and develop and unless their changing needs are met then the status of the cuisine falls behind or becomes pigeon holed in a category, which is what is happenening to Turkish cuisine now, despite its popularity in certain specific parts of the capital and some very serviceable kebab houses

 

Quite WHY Lebanese and Morroccan restaurants should be of so much higher a standard that Turkish ones is intereresting (at least to me). I'd speculate that like a lot of seventies Indian restaurants, the people opening and running Turkish restaurants are not specifically food or restaurant oriented, but come from poor immigrant backgrounds where cooking is a way of making a living and not much else. Whereas Morrocan and Lebanese restaurants are opened by wealthier specialists who want to sell a high quality culinary experience. If any one else has a different reason I'd be interested to hear it. :lol:

 

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Dude, I don't believe you're actually this obtuse. You think he posted about every one of his meals in Istanbul? This is his newsletter, for people who, if they care, have some broader idea of his tastes and critical standards. If what you care about is whether you can trust Mariani's tastes, why don't you just read some more of his work, instead of being critical of his capsule best-of-Istanbul for not including the worst as well? Please note that I'm addressing your argument on its merits, or lack thereof.

 

 

No. In order for Maariani's, or anybody's "tastes" to be useful to me I have to have some idea of his standards from the piece that he writes. And that means his ability to engage in critical discourse, which he does not do in that piece. Someone can tell me that they had a fantastic meal at Mcdonald's because they loved it. That tells me nothing useful about Mcdonald's apart from the fact that they loved it. He does not give me a reason to care about his broader tastes and standards.

 

I said twice "fair enough". There's no reason why Mariani should care about writing a useful critical piece or what critical readers might think. He just wanted to enthuse. But since Nick cited the piece in the context of the Istanbul thread, pointing out that it it does not enable the reader who is interested in "fine dining" to gauge a fine dining standard in Istanbul remains fair comment IMO

 

My experience in several areas of Turkey (though not Istanbul) recently is that restaurant dining is of a medicore standard. Not as low as Greece, but mediocre nevertheless. What is interesting is that you cannot seem to find any of the really interesting dishes that I see in my Turkish cookbooks. Why not? What is also odd is that there aren't more restaurants of the ambition that Mariani describes to be found in other areas of Turkey, especially those where there are loads of tourists with money to spend. Which also begs the question-why not? Unless, of course, anyone DOES know of such restaurants and I've missed them despite my research over six visits, in which case I'd be happy to hear about them.

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There's no reason why Mariani should care about writing a useful critical piece or what critical readers might think. He just wanted to enthuse. But since Nick cited the piece in the context of the Istanbul thread, pointing out that it it does not enable the reader who is interested in "fine dining" to gauge a fine dining standard in Istanbul remains fair comment IMO

It may not be useful to you because you're unfamiliar with Mariani but for those who do read him regularly and who trust his judgment this is a useful list.

 

Even if he described bad restaurants it would onbly be of use to you if you'd been the same place so that you could "calibrate your palate" against his. But then again that would be true of good restaurants.

 

What is interesting is that you cannot seem to find any of the really interesting dishes that I see in my Turkish cookbooks. Why not? What is also odd is that there aren't more restaurants of the ambition that Mariani describes to be found in other areas of Turkey, especially those where there are loads of tourists with money to spend.

You're confused.

 

First you say that Mariani is useless and then you state that Mariani has found restaurants of greater ambition than is typical which is what you say you want to experience. Which is it?

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The restaurants he describes sound interesting and ambitious. And if I were in Istanbul I would probably seek them out. The point I am trying to make is not that he should have visited "bad" restaurants. Why would I want him to do that? :unsure:Or that he is "useless". But that his accounts of the ones he liked are so completely uncritical (in the sense of the word "critique") in terms of analysing the standards of the cooking and the ingredients that a reader who doesn't know his usual standards is unsure of the Richter scale by which he's judging the quality of the food he's eating.

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If anyone is interested, my recollection of dining in Istanbul was a consistently high standard of ingredients -the fish especially, for obvious reasons, and the vegetables, and a relatively low standard of service. As far as cuisine goes, preparations were straightforward and traditional, even at fancy places, and therefore would bore the socks off anyone in search of innovative techniques. It is true that, except at the highest level, meals for tourists are served at lightning speed, entrees arriving when appetizers have hardly been touched. And the appetizer course is usually excellent and copious, too. However, it is the easiest thing in the world to take control of your meal by deferring ordering the entree until you are ready for it. Then, like the locals, you can graze on your pita and dips and salads and brains in peace. :lol:

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What is "idiotic" is turning the conversation away from food and restaurants and cuisine order to make personal remarks about the poster. It means that the substantive conversation cannot proceed because people wish to haggle about personalities rather than address the food issues

 

You repeatedly claim that "personal" comments are being made. I assume you're trying to say that these are arguments ad hominem. However, the comments made are based on your arguments that are *directly* relevant to the current thread.

 

I did not say "I make more money than Tman and have dined in more 3-star places than he has, plus I don't like his haircut, therefore he doesn't know anything about Turkish cuisine" - that would have been ad hominem. You, on the other hand, have called my comments idiotic, claimed I know nothing about cuisine or restaurants and have made various dismissive and generally false comments about anyone who has tried to hold a discussion with you.

 

I have argued (and brought examples from your own posts, there are many many more) that you are obsessed with making derogatory comments about people based on their nationality. You also keep repeating the confused and muddled concept that what is made available to wealthy Londoners is a good proxy for the quality of certain national cuisines.

 

So this thread has nothing to do with discussion of cuisine, cooking or dining, it's just one more Tman thread on:

 

"XYZ-ian restaurants in London are bad -> XYZ cuisine is bad, but some XYZs have learned how to make it seem more French -> if the rest of those lazy XYZs do the same, they'll be successful as well."

 

with an attached "I've been to XYZ-land fifty years ago and the streets were flooded with liquid crap, why can't XYZs clean up their act."

 

Reminds me of some less successful Monty Python sketch.

 

Now, let's talk business:

 

 

1. If restaurants in Turkey are mediocre (and they are indeed), why do you need to assert that they're mediocre (or less) in London because they were started by "poor immigrants"? are they started by poor Turks in Turkey as well? not a serious restaurateur in the entire country?

 

2. I would be glad to hear what those dishes you refer to from your Turkish cookbooks are, maybe I can point you to where you can find them (not hoping for much there, what can you expect after all :lol: ).

 

3. Lebanese restaurants are "of a higher standard" (more expensive/white tablecloth) in Paris and nyc as well. Does that mean that there's a global phenomenon of poor Turks opening restaurants "just to make a living" (I guess they have to, given the state of the Lakerda trade) vs. wealthy Lebanese who are doing it for fun?

 

4. How much do you know about the economics of the Turkish tourist industry? what percentage of tourists who go there are looking do spend $$$s on haute-cuisine? can you guess? if only a tiny percentage care about it, does it make sense that the best restaurant in Turkey will happen to be in a major city rather than some all-inclusive resort?

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The reason people get upset with you and Steve is not that you ceaselessly attempt to place your own preferences at the top of some gastronomic hierarchy for the only reason that they are your preferences, or even that you attempt to present yourselves as 'intellectual' diners whose opinions carry extra weight, but rather, that you then use these daft analyses to extrapolate fatuous commentaries on the relative worth of cultures that you know absolutely nothing about.

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I have three Turkish cookbooks at home. They contain often delicious sounding and quite sophistcated and elaborate recipes in them. Yet in all my visits to Turkey in places like Antalya, Ayvalik, Dalaman, Izmir, Kas, Kalkan I haven't yet found a restaurant which practicses that level of cooking or even aspires to. It's quite possible that I missed places. But I did do the usual research before I went each time,so if I did they must be fairly obscure.

 

Why is this? One can only deduce that Turkish people are not interested in the concept of restaurants which serve up the best that the cuisine has to offer. Maybe many get it at home and see the purpose of restaurants as offering more basic sustenance fare. But given the amount of tourists with disposable income in some of thses areas it is peculiar that gourmet restaurants showcasing top Turkish cuisine should be so difficult, nay impossible, to find.

 

And Greece is the same. Exept in Greek cookbooks the food does NOT appear so delicious :lol:

 

Edit-I'm not a moderator and don't complain to them so from now on I'm just going to ignore all posts which make me the main subject instead of the food, the cuisine and the restaurants, or which constantly accuse me of racism,bigotry and the like

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And yet oddly enough, greek restaurants in New York are pretty expensive and function in the same role as Parc Fora in Istanbul (only with bad fish). What does that mean? nothing, of course

 

So can you give an example of some sophistcated and elaborate turkish recipes?

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Why is this? One can only deduce that Turkish people are not interested in the concept of restaurants which serve up the best that the cuisine has to offer. Maybe many get it at home and see the purpose of restaurants as offering more basic sustenance fare. But given the amount of tourists with disposable income in some of thses areas it is peculiar that gourmet restaurants showcasing top Turkish cuisine should be so difficult, nay impossible, to find.

 

A conundrum indeed, perhaps it's because male Turks are so libidinous that they can't concentrate on complexifying gastronomic technique. Maybe if the Turkish government introduced cut-price porn and obligatory topless bathing they could codify their their cuisine instead of fiddling with their klaxons and bumping into tourists all day.

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1. If restaurants in Turkey are mediocre (and they are indeed), why do you need to assert that they're mediocre (or less) in London because they were started by "poor immigrants"? are they started by poor Turks in Turkey as well? not a serious restaurateur in the entire country?

 

2. I would be glad to hear what those dishes you refer to from your Turkish cookbooks are, maybe I can point you to where you can find them (not hoping for much there, what can you expect after all :lol: ).

 

3. Lebanese restaurants are "of a higher standard" (more expensive/white tablecloth) in Paris and nyc as well. Does that mean that there's a global phenomenon of poor Turks opening restaurants "just to make a living" (I guess they have to, given the state of the Lakerda trade) vs. wealthy Lebanese who are doing it for fun?

 

4. How much do you know about the economics of the Turkish tourist industry? what percentage of tourists who go there are looking do spend $$$s on haute-cuisine? can you guess? if only a tiny percentage care about it, does it make sense that the best restaurant in Turkey will happen to be in a major city rather than some all-inclusive resort?

 

Now if you'd asked those interesting questions before we could have avoided all the intervening silliness

 

1) I didn't say it was definitely true that the mediocre quality of Turkish restaurants in London was because they were started by poor immigrants. I was speculating on it as a possible reason. Working as cooks and as waiters in restaurants is often an employment route for poor immigrants who cannot get other jobs. Thgis is a fact whether you like it or not. They may not have any particular interest in cooking or any particular cooking skills-but they can be trained to chargrill meat and provide a basic level of food and service. It is the same with all the bog standard Indian restaurants in the UK and it was true of Italian restaurants in Soho in the fifties and sixties. Immigrants often go into the restuarant trade but do not themselves have any particular gastronomic ambitions.

 

2) I'll see if i can sort out some dishes from the cookbooks for you if you're that interested

 

3) I don't KNOW why Lebanese restaurants are of a higher standard then Turkish and greek ones. Do you? if so let's hear it. It's not just better tablecloths. It's far better food and service values.

 

4) Do you honestly and seriously believe that if a gourmet Turkish restaurant opened up in a popular Turkish resort with loads of European vistors flush with Euros and pounds it would not be chock full every night? There are other resorts around Europe with dozens of such restaurants. Tourists with money will spend it in good restaurants

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Edit-I'm not a moderator and don't complain to them so from now on I'm just going to ignore all posts which make me the main subject instead of the food, the cuisine and the restaurants, or which constantly accuse me of racism,bigotry and the like

 

This sounds rather familiar. Of course, since this board doesn't have your sensibilities as a baseline, and you can't delete anyone who cogently disagrees with you, then you should be prepared to defend your more bizarre claims, or just not make them in the first place.

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Just a note to ask that, since the thread is Istanbul, discussion should return to that topic. I think the side issue has been explored to the entent that is possible on the boards (if not more). Thanks.

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A conundrum indeed, perhaps it's because male Turks are so libidinous that they can't concentrate on complexifying gastronomic technique. Maybe if the Turkish government introduced cut-price porn and obligatory topless bathing they could codify their their cuisine instead of fiddling with their klaxons and bumping into tourists all day.

 

Note LML's total refusal to engage with or address the question in hand.

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