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Galga Moğol Izgara July 6, 2010

Posted by Steven Bartus in Foreign Cuisine.
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Some Turks, particularly those of a more nationalistic persuasion, like to emphasize the Turkic roots of Genghis Khan, which would ostensibly connect Mongolian barbecue to Turkish cuisine if was not, in fact, a product of Taiwan. Yes, it’s true: inspired by the Japanese-style teppanyaki that was popular at the time, Mongolian barbecue was started in Tapei in 1976 and is only loosely related to its namesake. And if you really want to get specific, most present-day Mongolians are descended the Kahalkas, a Tungusic/Chinese people who adopted the Turkic nomadic lifestyle, so the culinary connection to Turkey becomes even more distant. But this is not a blog about central Asia, so I digress.

The point of all this is that there is a Mongolian barbecue in Ankara, and it’s pretty good. Galga Moğol Izgara, as it is called, is located in the CEPA AVM and delivers the typical Mongolian-barbecue experience.

At Galga, you first select your protein: beef, lamb, chicken or seafood. Next, you assemble one bowl of vegetables from the buffet, and then in another you add the noodles of your choice topped with a variety of sauces and spices. Both are passed over to the grill where they are mixed and cooked. The final product is brought to your table when ready.

Dinner at Galga is particularly satisfying because it offers flavors that you don’t find in Turkish food. Ingredients like ginger, curry, sesame oil, soy and sweet-and-sour sauces can be very refreshing to the palate. Sometimes you just need respite from kebabs, and after the disappointment at Köşebaşı earlier last week, this was certainly the case for me.

You can find Galga Moğol Izgara on the top floor of CEPA in the food court (Google Maps). Malls are never the most elegant setting for dinner, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed in this case. Prices are reasonable: a typical meal comes to around 15TL ($9.50 at 1.57TL/$) including a drink.

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