Turcia: The Exquisite Taste of Balkan Peninsula at Arkan PlazaTurkish Food
Whether main courses, appetisers or desserts, Turkish food will never fail to satisfy your taste buds and will always leave you wishing you could eat more. One of the great things in Turkey is that you can find a diversity of flavour profiles, and each region has its own unique culinary identity. Turcia restaurant introduced our capital to a new, modern take on Turkish cuisine influenced by the Balkan Peninsula’s food culture. With two branches open so far, one in Trivium Business Complex in New Cairo and one in Arkan Plaza Sheikh Zayed, getting a taste of this unique region is an exciting experience for sure.
We headed to the newly opened Turcia branch in Arkan Plaza around 5:00 PM for lunch, and we instantly noticed that the outdoor area was more spacious than the indoors area. Therefore, if you’re planning to go during hot weather, make sure there is space inside, or wait until the weather is cooler to enjoy the outdoor ambience. The staff gave us a wonderfully warm welcome, and our waiter was a great help in suggesting popular items to order. We got a Highland Salad (72 LE) – walnut, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley, mint, pomegranate molasses, and olive oil to start our meal. We also got one Mixed Mezzeh Platter (120 LE) where you can get three mezzeh of your choosing – Vine leaves, Yoghurt with Beetroot, and Yoghurt with Cucumber. Both choices were spot on; the salad was perfectly seasoned and flavourful, and the mezzeh were fresh and tasty, especially the yoghurt with beetroot, which had an indulgent creamy texture that was unmatched.
We decided to give their baked goods a try, so we ordered one Kiymali Pide (89 LE) – with minced meat and Turkish spices. This traditional savoury bread was quite sizable, spiced, and light – an excellent filling brunch item when you feel like having something different. As we chose our main courses, we decided to get one Iced Tea Peach (38 LE) and one traditional Ayran Milk (39 LE) – made by diluting yoghurt with water and adding salt. Having tried the Ayran in Turkey, this drink was OK, but it lacked the thickness and balanced saltiness of the traditional beverage.
Tuzda Tavuk (310 LE) from Turcia’s signature items was our choice of the day – Turkish style roasted whole chicken covered with salt, stuffed with rice and nuts served live. The live show was quite amusing; two staff members came out with a portable live station and set the salted chicken on fire, making for a fantastic five-minute show. The dish’s taste was just as pleasing; the chicken was impressively herbed and seasoned, while the rice was utterly flawless. If we had one comment, it would be that the side vegetables needed more time on the grill.
To end our meal, we got one Oven Rice Pudding (55 LE) – even though this dessert tasted more or less like the Egyptian rice pudding, it was tasty but not necessarily authentic. The dessert, however, didn’t make a difference in the otherwise excellent dining experience. From the friendly staff to the flavourful dishes – Turcia can be considered a great spot to experience a taste of Turkish culture in Cairo.