A Turkish Breakfast Rebooted

Where to find Turkish breakfast spots in South Africa

In any city outside of Islamic countries, finding halaal cuisine is challenging but not impossible. Being fortunate enough to have travelled more than most, I have learnt that breakfast is probably the most important meal in the day. Especially as a Muslim, you have a fair level of control of what is prepared for you at the hotel restaurant than you would get for the rest of the day. Not being a fussy eater, has helped though, and there have been times when I have lived a whole week on vegetarian and fish meals.

Just over a year ago, we travelled to Turkey for a holiday and spent a few days in Cappadocia, “The land of beautiful horses”, fairytale landscapes, cave hotels and hot air balloons. Many of the cave hotels are renovated homes where the owners, now hoteliers are old couples that have eased into new employment has hosts. This was the case with the place we stayed at in Urgup, The Romantic Cave hotel, and the breakfasts were simply amazing. The traditional Turkish breakfast is called Serpme Kahvalti which translated means mixed breakfast. It consists of scrambled eggs, sausage, fried chips, a selection of cheese, olives, humus, a variety of bread and Gozleme (spinach and feta pastries). For the kids they had honey and chocolate spread as options.  All of this topped off with Turkish tea or coffee. With typical grandparent hospitality, the couple hovered around us ensuring our plates never emptied, on a mission to put some meat on the bones of our son before we left. Lovely weather, amazing food and a great view, what more can you ask for.

Every now and again, you have a foodie experience that transports you to a happier place and time. This was the experience I had at Galata East Rand recently. Preparing for a week long trip to Nigeria, where I expected food was going to be a challenge, I decided it would be nice to have Serpme Kahlvati at Galata in Boksburg. I was not disappointed, the meal is served for two, but could easily feed four. There literally was no space on the table for all the dishes.  Menemen was the star attraction, this is scrambled eggs with diced onion and tomatoes. An onion and mushroom side, a very tasty minced up pulled beef dish, boiled eggs, a variety of cheese, Mediterranean style salad, humus, labne, molasses syrup, Nutella, honey, tahini, feta and spinach and feta filled pastry. Crispy bread rolls and butter to conclude. Fresh juices and Turkish tea to wash it all down. A “lottle” time later, the three of us waddled out to the car park completely satiated and carrying a doggie bag of leftovers to boot. Cappadocia rebooted and ready to take on the week ahead.

By Zulfikar Umar

We have some great middle eastern restaurants in South Africa where you can enjoy a Turkish or middle eastern breakfast. Take your taste-buds on a journey even you can’t make it in person.

Cape Town

Istanbul Kebab
The Ottoman
Zeetan Turkish
Find their details here


Galata East Rand
Galata Greenside
Lime Tree Garden
Istanbul Kebab Melrose Arch
Istanbul Kebab Sunninghill
Find their details here


Sofra Istanbul


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