I must admit - I've never been to Turkey but I've always been a fan of the food.
When it comes to Turkish breakfasts though I’m a bit lost. Without actually visiting the country and experiencing it for myself I’m a little wet behind the ears when it comes to early morning dining in Turkey. For all I know it could be a big bowl of Frosties with a Yop on the side.
A quick Google tells me that it certainly is nothing like that though – as a typical Turkish breakfast usually includes cheese, olives, eggs, jam, hummus, spicy sausage, bread and a whole host of other little bits and pieces that you pick at and share with your loved ones.
Not knowing a thing at all about Turkish breakfasts, I pretty much had zero preconceptions during a recent visit to KAI to try out their new breakfast offering, and with an open mind I dove straight in.
The breakfast menu is small, concise and considered. You have the choice of 7 dishes, each offering something entirely different.
Top of the list is the KAI Turkish Breakfast (£14) a mezze style selection of spicy sausage, hummus, halloumi, tzatziki, cilbir (poached eggs and yoghurt), and a selection of cheeses. Pretty much everything you could ever want really.
We decided to go elsewhere though, starting with the Sucuklu Yumurta (£6) a dish of succulent spicy beef sausage served with eggs, peppers and some lovely flatbread on the side. I must admit to finding the sausage absolutely fantastic – it’s a bit like chorizo, a bit like salami and a bit bloody brilliant.
Paired with the runny yoked eggs, the dish is a winner – especially alongside a bit of dippy-dippy with the fantastic wood-fired bread.
Another traditional offering is the Menemen (£6), which resembles a Shakshouka to a certain degree but with more peppers and less tomato.
It’s a dish of spicy mixed peppers with two baked eggs on top, again with a bit of bread on the side for some dipping. This bad boy is pretty spicy, which I’m a big fan of, and it’s also spectacularly flavoursome – with a distinct tang that’s perfectly offset by the eggs (and the inevitable runny yolk).
Next up we were treated to a spectacular Breakfast Pide (£7) which, if you don’t know, is a kind of Turkish pizza that comes loaded with all manner of exotic toppings.
For this breakfast iteration, you have the choice of Spinach & Feta or Spicy Sausage & Cheese, both with an egg on top that acts as the perfect spot to do some dipping with the wood-fired crust.
KAI were very liberal with the spinach and feta topping and thus this was a clear favourite of mine. Pizza for breakfast? It’s like a dream come true.
Finally, for anyone looking for a something a bit sweeter, KAI offer a lovely Apricot & Honey Porridge (£4) which comes topped with toasted seeds.
Now I understand that porridge wouldn’t usually be the top choice when you’ve got so many meat and cheese based options on the table but I was actually impressed. I’d certainly give it a go again in the future anyway.
As is usually the case with most Turkish breakfasts, you can also add Unlimited Coffee to your meal for just £2 at KAI – meaning you can take it easy and get the day off to a good start with a little spring in your step.
I must admit to being highly impressed with what KAI have on offer for breakfast, and it certainly opened my eyes to what I’ve been missing as someone who is ignorant to a lot of traditional Turkish cuisine.
Even though it may not be many people’s first choice when it comes to starting off the day – you should definitely give it a thought next time you’re out for a treat in the morning.
KAI Traditional Turkish Breakfast
KAI Deansgate, 82-84 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2ER
0161 832 3431