If ever a snack deserves to be given it’s own blog post, it’s got to be this one. In fact, this is not even Turkish food as it isn’t available all over Turkey. As far as we know, you can only get this snack in Istanbul, but it would even be unfair to call it ‘Istanbul, Turkish food.’ We need to narrow it down even more than that. This is ‘Taksim, Istanbul, Turkish food’ and we think the snack is only available from a row of three kebab shops just off the top of Istiklal Caddesi.
So what is this special snack? Hmm, is it special? It’s certainly different! I’m referring to the Islak Burger. ‘Islak’ is the Turkish word for ‘wet.’ The Wet Burger. You can see why it aroused our interest.
The exclusivity doesn’t stop there. Not content with creating and selling the phenomenon that is the Taksim Islak Burger, these three kebab kiosks add a further ingredient to tempt the tastebuds. These are no ordinary Taksim Islak Hamburgers…
…These are Özel Soslu Islak Hamburgers – a wet burger with special sauce! Are you tempted yet? I wasn’t. What on earth is a wet burger with special sauce? Closer inspection revealed that the burgers were made up and placed in rows under lights (as you can see in the photos). The burgers are on a hole-studded metal plate so we can only assume that there is hot water underneath, causing steam to rise; hence wet burgers.
As for the özel sos – for the purposes of blog research, Barry had an özel soslu ıslak burger for his lunch one day. His description is ‘spicy, tomatoey.’ This ‘spicy tomatoey’ special sauce actually coats the outside of the bun, not the burger inside. (The burger comes wrapped in a paper serviette that soon becomes soggy). Oh yes, and ‘burger’ is a bit misleading. I’m happy to report that the meat inside is döner meat and not a cheap, processed circle of nastiness.
The Taksim Özel Soslu Hamburger was very much enjoyed by Barry (I had a half bread!). Workers on their lunch hour were also queueing to buy them so they’re popular – and why not? 2 lira per burger is a cheap lunch…and cheap enough to try, merely for the purposes of a bit of blog research.
Have you ever had an ıslak burger? If you’re familiar with them, do you know how they’re actually made? See, we are curious – even if I’m not too bothered about eating one.