Living la vie gastronomique in France does not preclude exploring and enjoying other cuisines, so when Hanadi suggested going to a Turkish restaurant for her 32nd birthday, I readily agreed. Semazen, in the north of Vieux Lyon next to the Gare Saint Paul, was a little restaurant that served up some typical Turkish foods cooked in a traditional oven (top left).
Our meal was luxurious (top right). I ordered a pidé des epinards – a type of spinach pizza, but baked on a thin crust of Turkish bread. Hanadi’s meal was a hearty piece of lamb sandwiched between a hearty piece of Turkish bread, served with a cucumber yogurt, onions, and a pepper. The white drinks you see in the photos are ayrans, drink made of yogurt and salt.
But what made the meal truly luxurious were the desserts. We each got something called a knafe, or kinafa, or kanafeh, depending on who you ask (bottom left and right). A knafe is made with fried angel hair pasta, stuffed with cheese with a topping of mascarpone and pistachios on top. If that isn’t enough, each knafe is drenched in a sugary delicious syrup. Yum 🙂