KAHVE DUNYASI, MAYFAIR: I’ve had my fair share of “Aussie” i.e. Melbourne Cafes, but this Turkish cafe was definitely a one of a kind experience. Having never tried a Middle Eastern cafe, I was very excited to try this out and could not have been happier to have done so! In a brightly lit, cosy place on Piccadilly, right in the middle of the grand, classy area of Mayfair, Kahve Dunyasi is definitely a cafe that I wouldn’t hesitate returning to, for good food to complete the even better conversations to be had.
They have a lovely display of Middle Eastern desserts, with an area out the front full of colourfully wrapped chocolates, Turkish coffee and hot chocolate powder for customers to purchase. We were greeted by their lovely manager, who provided us with extremely welcoming and friendly service, offering us a wide variety of their specialties. We left with a newfound appreciation for Turkish coffee, and a cosy warmth despite the chilly London winter winds whistling outside.
Turkish Coffee – GBP 2.75; Original Hot Chocolate – GBP 3.55; Salep – GBP 4.2; Caramel Macchiato – GBP 3.95
The good fat: I’ve actually never been so impressed with cafe drinks before – only the caramel macchiato (which is one of their best sellers) was pretty standard but the other 3 drinks all had their own unique highlights that surprised us! Starting with the Turkish coffee, it was fascinating to learn how that instead of using roasted coffee beans, Turkish coffee is made by bringing it to the boil on a stove, leaving it with a powdery texture that some people aren’t a fan of. We were warned before hand to stop drinking once you hit the bitter, powder residue at the bottom so don’t forget otherwise it might just completely ruin your experience. The texture was a little grainy, but I mostly enjoyed the slight bitterness followed by a sweet aftertaste – a very delicate blend of coffee flavours that I haven’t experienced before.
The Salep is their famous Christmas drink and with the fairy street lights along Regent Street signalling the festive season of the year, this deliciously thick and smooth drink, with its hint of orchid plants and Middle Eastern spices was fitting for December. I’ve never been a huge fan of spice-based drinks e.g. chai, but the creamy and milky blend of this drink with soft hints of spice became a beautiful balance of flavours and absolutely perfect for a snowy Winter’s day during European Christmas 🙂
Hot chocolate is one of the best drinks to use as a standard comparison across many cafes, and this is definitely up at the top of my list now! It had this amazing quality of being dark and rich, without being too sweet. We were told that the hot chocolate was made from melted chocolate to give it that rich, roasty flavour that just left me wanting more!
The bad fat: After 3 such amazing drinks, the caramel macchiato paled in comparison and I felt that the caramel syrup wasn’t mixed in very well so there were very sweet chunks here and there.
Kahve Dunyasi Cake – GBP 5.25; Biscuit Cake – GBP 5.25; Chocolate Souffle – GBP 8.5
The good fat: I can’t even pick a standout because all three desserts were all unique, complementing each other. The souffle was probably the most “as expected”, but it was super warm and soft. The top was slightly crisp – which I enjoyed, and it was pure delight to dig my spoon into the soft melted centre and have a mouthful of that GOOEY rich chocolate. Chocolate souffle is not complete without icecream, and it was just a very hearty, satisfying dessert to have on a Winter’s day!
The Kahve Dunyasi cake is their specialty, filled with deliciously smooth and velvety layers of chocolate mouse – alternating between bitter dark chocolate, white and milk, all infused with the slightest hint of coffee. It was just so pleasing to cut through the layers, so very softly, and the different flavours of chocolate gave it quite a bit of variety so it didn’t end up being too rich. I really enjoyed the base too, which was made from sesame and pine nuts – the nuttiness added a bit of crunch to the texture and balanced out the sweetness from the chocolate on top.
The biscuit pistachio cake was quite an interesting combination – any cake with nuts and biscuit bases just have me sold, so it was very refreshing to see how they incorporated the biscuit throughout the cake instead of just leaving it as the base, which it typically is. Once again, I enjoyed the rich smoothness of the chocolate whilst the biscuit crumble scattered throughout meant that any sweetness of the chocolate was immediately undercut by the doughiness and crunch of the biscuit. A great combination of flavours and texture, well thought out and put together 🙂
The bad fat: Only drawback was that I wish the pistachio was a bit stronger in the biscuit cake as I could only really taste it from the small crushed pieces decorating the back of the cake.
Borekitas (Aubergine, Potato) – GBP 4.75
The good fat: Loved how flakey the pastry was in this – they heat it up when you order it so that its warm all the way through to the centre and the outside has that satisfying golden crunch. The potato and aubergine, respectively were quite subtle in flavour with the potato filling tasting slightly heavier and heartier. A lovely savoury snack with a tasty filling!
The bad fat: It would’ve been even better to have a little kick of a sharp flavour e.g. spice etc. in perhaps the aubergine one so you could distinguish the two clearer and also have that extra degree of complexity.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES – A beautiful, cosy cafe a throw away from the bustling shopping streets of inner London. Delicious coffees with a Turkish twist and unique desserts!