This past weekend I discovered my new favorite Turkish restaurant. On Friday night I went with 2 friends to try out Pera Turkish Kitchen on Preston (across from La Hacienda Ranch and Banana Leaf). It used to be a sushi place (I knew the owner) which used to be really good, but I think this location is not the most ideal. I've seen many businesses go in and out of this space over the past 10 years. I really hope Pera sticks around!!!
Pera Turkish Kitchen
17479 Preston Rd.
Dallas, TX 75252
After reading some reviews on this place, I had a good feeling about it. I really hope its good!
The place was pretty empty when we arrived at 7:30PM on a Friday night. There were 3-4 other tables I think. Our waiter was a shorter, older gentleman. He was all smiles and gave great suggestions and service. :)
After we ordered we were given complimentary Turkish bread. It was yummy! I loved the sesame on top which gave it a nice nuttiness. It came with a feta dip which had dill and tomatoes in it.
My friend wanted to try the Dolma (homemade grape leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, currants, onions) $6.50~
She's never had it before so wanted to try it. I was hesitant and told her that I don't think dolmas are that good. I've always liked the concept of it, but every time I have it I don't care for it. It usually doesn't have enough flavor and is kind of sour. So my impression of it wasn't great. But this was so good. SO GOOD! First of all, they're not small like most places I've had. There was lots of filling inside. And most importantly, it had great flavor and no sourness!!!! I loved it! I'm so glad my friend gave it a shot. hehe.
We also got a Humus (mashed chickpeas blended with fresh garlic, tahini paste) $5.50~ It was pretty standard humus. But went really well with the bread.
One friend ordered Pera's Signature "ADANA" (fresh lamb, hand ground daily and marinated with eastern Mediterranean spices; served with rice and salad) $13.95~
She loves lamb and was really excited that they had many lamb dishes to choose from. The portion size was good. The lamb was tender. I don't like lamb so it still had that gamey-ness that I'm not a fan of. She loved it. Her husband loved it even more though. hahaha. He ended up finishing her dish. The rice was different than any I've had in other Mediterranean restaurants. I think it's cooked in some sort of stock? It had a slight yellow color to it and was really flavorful. I also liked the texture a lot since it was more of a puffy rice instead of long grain.
My other friend got the Chicken Shish (spiced, fire roasted tender cubes of marinated chicken) $11.95~
Initially he was gonna get the quail but the waiter suggested this one. The chicken was white meat but super tender. The seasoning on the chicken was good too. We all liked it, but he liked the lamb better. hehe.
I got the Salmon Kadayif (salmon crusted with shredded wheat and sauteed vegetables) $14.95~
It looked AMAZING!! The plate was so pretty with the green sauce and veggies and pink salmon on top. It's so cool that they pan fried the shredded wheat on the salmon. It created a super crispy crust. The salmon was cooked well. And I loved the freshness of the pea puree and vegetables. It was a hearty yet healthy dish. I would get this again in a heartbeat!! Obviously my favorite dish of the night. :)
I was pretty full but we wanted to try the desserts. Of course! :P
Baklava (thin layers of filo dough with walnuts in between) $5.50~ There were 4 pieces but were pretty small. It was tasty though. Sweet and nutty and went so well with the Turkish tea I had.
Kazandibi (baked caramelized burnt milk pudding) $5.50~ This was the one I wanted to try. It was delicious!!! It was kind of like a flan, but more dense. The burnt top added a complexity in flavor. The whipped cream on the side paired so well with the pudding. NOM NOM GOOD!!
We had a great meal! Everything was fantastic. The service was spot on, the food was delicious. Definitely my new favorite Mediterranean place! It easily exceeded my expectations and I hope it sticks around for a really long time. Everyone go check it out!!
Oh yea... did I mention? It's also BYOB!! Holla! :P
And guess what... It was so good that I told some friends about it. I went back with 2 other friends on Sunday (2 days later)!! I wasn't even hungry cuz I had a big lunch but I still went and got the Dolmas as my entree. Still yummy!
One friend got the Beyti Kebab (chicken adana kebab wrapped in lavash bread then topped with yogurt and tomato sauce; served with rice and salad) $14.95~ It looked pretty awesome. And it was really tasty. I just might have to get that next time I go! Although... the salmon is still on my mind. hehe
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
2625 Old Denton Rd.
Carrollton, TX 75007
They feature juk (pronounced jook), which is Korean rice porridge. I never really stopped and thought that Koreans had their own style of porridge. Growing up with Chinese congee has blinded me I guess. haha. But the healthiness of their dishes definitely caught my eye. From their website, they state that the porridge is made with milled rice that contains highly nutritious rice germ. Also they use fresh ingredients and no msg. I try to eat healthy on the weekdays so this seemed like a great choice. Plus all the pictures on the website looked tasty. hehe.
From all the pictures and reviews I knew that the portions were quite large so between the 3 of us, we ordered 2 savory juk and 1 sweet to share. No kidding on the size! Each bowl is huge! And the savory ones come with ban chan (Korean side dishes). And yes, you can ask for refill on those. :)
Beef Juk $7.99~
Spicy Octopus Juk $9.99~
I wanted to try this. The flavor was much bolder than the beef one, so I guess if you try both, you'd think the beef was bland. I actually liked how the 2 flavors contrasted each other. It wasn't very spicy (for those of you that can't handle spice). I wish there was more octopus. It was cut in very small pieces so I didn't get very much of it. I did like the addition of the bean sprouts though. I liked it a lot.
Black Sesame Juk $8.99~
I loveeeee black sesame, so of course I had to try this. They also had a pumpkin one which caused a dilemma for me. But this just means I'll have to go back and try that one another time. haha. The sweet juk is just as big as the savory ones. The consistency is a little gummy, my friend says it's probably because they mixed rice into it? But it still had good sesame flavor. I just wanted more of that sesame grainy texture. Yummy. I had 2 small bowls of it. We even had leftovers to take home!
One concern going in was that the prices seemed a bit steep. Which it kinda is... $10+ for porridge? But knowing that they use fresh ingredients and give you a huge portion, it's not that bad. Our waitress was a young Korean girl... I swear she's a teenager. Looked super young. Anyhoo... she was very nice and accommodating. Gave us very good service. :)
I'll definitely be back in the future. I've got tons more to try!! Oh.. and they have bibimbap (hot stone rice) there too if you aren't in the mood for porridge.
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~
Friday, June 7, 2013
2240 Royal Ln. #102
Dallas, TX 75229
I quickly realized it is in the old Bar [A] space. Oh Bar [A], I will miss you... I used to go there a lot back in college years. Yogurt soju! Heck yea!
Anyhoo, back to Khan.. The inside has been redecorated. There are little private tables divided by wood posts and curtains along the walls. In the middle there are little tables that look like you are eating at a street vendor. Pretty cool. Even though it's a izakaya (Japanese), it's Korean owned and feature some Korean dishes and drinks on the menu. They also have the typical skewers and appetizers you'd find at an izakaya type restaurant.
One of the waiters came by to go over the menu with us since some items were written in only Korean. That was nice of him. But they have pictures for almost everything so that made it easier to order as well. And the pictures looked pretty yummy.
Mini Chirashi $9~
Shoyu Ramen $8~
My sister's bf ordered this. It looked pretty good. I guess it's standard ramen compared to other places in Dallas. Slightly bland but the pork was good. And I liked that it had a lot of bean sprouts in it. The noodle could've been a bit chewier in my opinion.
Shrimp Tempura (3 pcs) $5~ He also got this as a side. I didn't try it. Looked pretty good though.
Tempura Udon $10~
My friend ordered this and subbed the tempura shrimp for all veggie tempura. They gave her a giant basket of vegetable tempura! Awesome. The tempura seemed like it was made with panko, it was crispier than the norm. I liked that. The udon seemed pretty standard. I didn't get to try it. For the price, this was a lot of food.
Super Spicy Chicken $13~
My sister and I saw this on the menu and immediately wanted to get it. The waitress warned us that it was really spicy. We eat very spicy and normally when people say it's spicy, it's not enough for us. But later the first waiter came and warned us again about the spice level. haha. And they were right! Just one bite, my face got all warm. Man... it was spicy!!! Even for my sister, who can take way more than me. But other than spicy, it lacked seasoning/flavor, so it was a let down. I think if they seasoned it more, we would've actually liked it.
They also gave us Onigiri with the spicy chicken. It had sesame oil, bits of seaweed and mini fish roe in it. It was delicious! I wish we can just order that by itself!!
Yogurt Soju $13?
So.. they don't have this on the menu, but the waiter said they had the yogurt so they can make it if we wanted. Haven't had it in forever so we got a bottle. Very strong! Not like I remembered from Bar [A]. Next time I'll have to ask them to put more yogurt! haha.
It's a cool little place for some snacking and drinking with friends. They are open til 2AM I believe. I might be back in the future for the chirashi again. hehe. The service was pretty good too. All the wait staff were very friendly.
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~