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Published October 23rd 2016
A bazaar from Turkey in the heart of Holdfast Bay
You know how there are the 'popular' and 'well-known' cafes that are Instagrammed to the absolute core? Well, you can add this one to your list of gorgeous cafes that not only deliver in appearance, but also in taste.
Tucked away in one of the little streets just off Jetty Road, Pera Kahve is a cafe that has been set up more like a traditional Turkish bazaar. Considered to be one of the best things to come from Istanbul, this cafe aims to deliver their purpose - be a kahvehane or a coffee house - and much, much more!
The people who work here are warm-hearted, friendly, and polite. They are excellent at suggesting what would be an ideal selection from their menu, in case you are overwhelmed by their expansive menu and are looking for something to crave your palate at the time.
Upon walking in to Pera Kahve, I was instantly reminded of my home back in the Middle East - there are cushions and sofas as seating props and the tables have a raw and well-aged texture to them. The cafe is intoxicating, with the beautiful smell of Sahlep, a winter drink that is made by combining ground mountain orchid roots with milk and spices. It is bound to please your soul and bring lots of tranquillity to counter balance the chaotic lifestyle that we often tend to lead, outside the cafe.
Upcycling been done right, the owners have done an excellent job of bringing a balance between rustic and vibrant, with its mismatched shutter doors, antique furniture, and other priceless vintage goods.
There are also some peculiar, unique, and beautiful items such as a cash register from the 1950s-1960s era, hand-drawn art across the walls of the place, a gorgeous coffee roaster, and traditional cutlery, crockery, and utensils. While it may look like a beautiful mess, it's what gives this cafe its character. The music and vibe of this place further add to the authentic factor of the cafe.
For those who are unaware that this exists - red velvet lattes are a thing, and what a delicious thing it is indeed! It is certainly a great time to be alive, when you have drinks such as this. The red velvet latte tastes exactly the way it looks - very, very appetising. With the sweetness from the red velvet factor and the strength from the caffeine induced in it, you are a shoe-in to not only have a coffee rush but also experience a beautiful sugar high simultaneously. Is it dangerous? Maybe so, but is it delectable? Oh yes, it is!
If you're after a short and sweet visit to the cafe, you can enjoy a hot mug of cappuccino and engage in a solo adventure contemplating over the beauty and story of this place. Alternatively, you can socialise and enjoy the company of friends and/or strangers alike by picking a table in the centre of the room or towards the window. Either way, you can expect to be amazed at the fine details of the cafe.
One of the reasons why I fell in love with Pera Kahve is because it offers all day breakfast! So, you shouldn't feel guilty if you sleep past your alarm, because you can be assured to have a brunch meal waiting for you here. There are so many options to choose from - savoury and sweet alike - so pick your poison and let these guys take care of the rest.
While we were keen to try out some traditional Turkish dishes, we decided to savour that opportunity for another time, given how we were short on time. My friend ordered the eggs Benedict with avocado, while I ordered the classic French toast.
The eggs Benedict presented with perfectly poached eggs, which were served with crispy bacon, spinach, slices of tomato, and seasoned well with salt, pepper, and paprika. Topped with Hollandaise sauce, this dish was a winner, with a lovely taste and a generous serving that was well-enjoyed by two very hungry foodies!
The French toast was toasted with a crispy crust enveloping a softer base within. Drizzled with an ample amount of maple syrup, this dish also offered fresh fruits such as juicy slices of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwi, peaches and two pears. A hearty meal for one with a huge sweet tooth, I found this dish to be appetising and it hit the right spot, in terms of leaving me satisfied and making my angry attitude disappear in the best way possible.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this place because of several reasons. It is a small cafe that is beautifully hidden down one of the quieter lanes of Jetty Road. The customer service here is fantastic, the ambience is relaxing and peaceful, and the food and drinks are simply delicious. I'd highly recommend paying a visit to these guys next time you find yourselves down the Bay. Oh, and red velvet lattes (pretty self-explanatory, really)!
Expect to spend anywhere between $4 and $25, for which you will not only get some food and a drink, but you will also be treated to a great experience of being at a Turkish-style cafe with lots of surprises hidden in the nooks and crannies of the place!