In-the-know locals gather here to share Turkish cooking that’s true to its roots, right at the heart of Little Turkey in Brunnenmarkt. Fans swear by the Iskander Kebab served on a bed of goat cheese, but I prefer the less messy—and calorific—basmati rice. The mezze platter, too, satisfies. But it is the kunafa, a deceptively simple yet sublime dessert of baked mozzarella cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup, that holds me captive.
Made with corn flour, ghee, othmaliye dough, and perhaps sweet condensed milk—just enough to give it a little edge—it departs from the more typical versions of kunafa (or knafeh, or kunafeh) in that it isn’t made of phyllo, has no walnuts or raisins, and, rather, resembles crème brulee. This dessert definitely ranks as one of my favorite culinary finds this year; the proprietor won’t give away the secret, but it must have something to do with the mozzarella (any other cheese would have been too heavy).