Oldie but Goodie is a monthly column where we feature noteworthy restaurants, cafes or bars that have been open at least six months and are worth a try.
Huaqiangbei is on the rise. Once known chiefly for cheap wholesale electronics, a large-scale renovation scheme and the addition of new malls have literally raised the area’s profile.
Some parts, however, stay untouched, retaining the slight seediness that used to define the neighborhood.
Mevlana is one of those places. Don’t be discouraged by the ‘average’ sanitation rating, symbolized by an unhappy emoji on the sign by the door – our sensitive American stomachs remain unscathed after many a meal here.
Sign aside, the interior is welcoming, with latticed woodwork and spacious seating on both floors.
A hefty menu offers blown-up shots of cuisine ranging from Middle Eastern to Chinese and even Indian. We recommend sticking to Turkish dishes, though, especially of the kebab variety.
The firinda beyti kebab (RMB78) is particularly dear to our hearts for the pairing of well-seasoned lamb and crispy pastry with a yogurt dipping sauce. Like the popular ‘Turkish pizzas,’ topped with cheese (RMB58), beef (RMB68) and more, its bite-sized pieces are also easy to share.
Generous helpings of hummus (RMB28) and homemade flatbread (RMB10) also make solid choices for snacking or splitting.
For beverages, Mevlana offers Turkish tea (RMB6-10 a cup) and coffee (RMB26), the latter of which is a UNESCO-listed piece of humanity’s cultural heritage.
The concentrated brew makes a satisfying after-meal sip that, like Turkish food in general, is hard to find in Shenzhen – making it all the more valuable.
See listing for Mevlana Turkish Restaurant.
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