Jenn Does Stuff: Dining at Topkapi

Let’s talk turkey.  The country, not the food. When you think of Turkish dining, what comes to mind? If you are like me before this experience, likely not much. Turkish dining sounds like it could be good, but what is it specifically?  Is it considered Asian food or European?  It could be both because Turkey resides on TWO continents.  97% in Asia and 3% in Europe. I attended this dining experience not knowing what I was  in for and was worried because my children can be hit and miss with international foods.  Worried or not, we went, and this is our blog report from Dining with the Haywards at Topkapi Turkish Restaurant!

It turns out Turkish food is delicious. A combination of marinated meats and pureed vegetables all perfectly seasoned. The flavour is delicate and not overpowering, but insanely delicious. Each child ate everything in front of them and wanted more!

Our evening began with our lovely server Nadine taking our drink orders.  She asked if she could make special drinks for the kids, which delighted them. My kids are 12, 14 and 15 and anytime they can get something that is fancy and “not pop” that also is “not alcohol” they are happy.  She brought them a Turkish Moonlight, a Turkish Sunrise and an Evil Eye. The boys insisted the girl get the Evil Eye because she is always giving them her evil eye (with reason!)  They all tasted each other’s drinks and all were happy.


Jon Hayward
Jon Hayward

She then brought us out an appetizer platter.  It consisted of Yaprak Dolması, Acılı Ezme, Humus, Havuç tarator, Biber Dolması, Haydari and Beyaz peynir.  That likely doesn’t mean anything to you, but you can see it on the video below and also on the menu.   Everything was pleasing to the palate. The food came on a beautiful silver platter and Nadine did a “reveal” which made everyone “ooh and ahh”.  Care and attention was evident in all the food. They even make their own yogurt at Topkapi!  From the chick pea spread to the stuffed green pepper, everything was a win!

The main course, wow, if you enjoy meat then this is the place for you! The meat consisted of  two Shish Kebap (lamb), two Shish Tavuk (chicken), two Kőfte (beef) and two Pirzola (lamb chop) , all perfectly marinated.  It also came with rice, potatoes and a delicious salad.  Please check out the video for close ups of the family eating and also how happy this food made us!

The Jenn Hayward Show Baklava

I was too full for dessert, given my post-gastric bypass stomach, but the children and husband were able to fit more in.  She brought out the traditional Baklava, which was great to look at (as seen below) but also brought out a Kunefe, a dish that requires 20 minutes advance notice to prepare.  It is shredded phylo pastro, mozzerella and syrup.  I had to taste it slightly and it has to be the best dessert I have ever tasted.   Not too rich, not too sweet, literally just perfect!  A must have!

Then came some tea.  She again asked to bring the children something special and brought them out orange and apple tea which the adults had Turkish coffee and tea.  Again they loved it.  My children are not foodies, but know what they like.  They liked this!  They even took their business cards,  and wrote their own reviews for their classes.

Our Server Nadine
Our Server Nadine

The food was of course great, but Topkapi offers so much more. The classy and elegant ambiance with Turkish music in the background made us feel we were somewhere special.  No fast food tonight, it’s all class!  Every Saturday they have a belly dancer on site for no additional charge.  Add that to your entire package and you have an excellent night out for a romantic outing, a family get together or to impress your clients. Topkapi is the place to go for an authentic Turkish experience.  I know we’ll go again, and hopefully we’ll see you there!


If you want Jenn to do stuff with your business please email her at

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