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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pera Turkish Kitchen

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 
(972) 267-4444 
Price: $$ 

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 

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