Almost everywhere you go in Asia these days has a thriving Middle Eastern food scene, with anywhere from one restaurant to a whole district dedicated to Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Israeli, etc. food as well as the ever-popular Hookah lounge. Shawarma stands, too, are well represented in the late-night street food scene in places like Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. So I was thrilled to hear that our little city of Dumaguete had a good Turkish restaurant, too, when I moved here.
The Anadolu Turkish Restaurant in Dumaguete
A U.S expat friend turned me on to Anadolu, but described it not by name (or they did, and I forgot) but as “the little place on the corner one street back from the Boulevard.: Sure enough, I knew what he was talking about, as I’d walked past it several times already and noted that a Turkish food kiosk was there, but I hadn’t tried it yet.
Well, I sampled their food the next day, and now I’m sure to be back to Anadolu every couple days at least.
Half of the fun of eating there is the fact that it’s a tiny place, with the kitchen and roasters/ovens (I don’t know the technical terms) only about ten feet by ten feet. On two sides, there are countertops, and that’s where the patrons sit – fitting only about six people at maximum capacity. But there are a couple of two-top round tables close to the street too. So it’s a great place to stop by and not only get some food but enjoy an incredible yogurt shake, San Miguel Pilsen beer (they only serve one kind!) or just say hello the to the owner.
I think his name is Mustafa, and he’s one of the nicest and most genuine people you’ll meet. In fact, he opened his little restaurant, which is now Duma-famous and soon to be Philippines-famous and even Asia-famous – just because he loves his food, his country, and sharing it with his new community here. His prices reflect that because they’re super reasonable – most dishes are only 80-120 Pesos, or about $2.
For that price, you can get a good-sized kebab, chicken shish on a plate with rice, wraps, a Turkish salad, or a host of other Turkish foods that I don’t know about. I actually just tell Mustafa to bring me something good and trust his judgment to serve me a new, fantastic dish – and he’s never disappointed.
They also make their own homemade yogurt, which is by far the best in Dumaguete. The word is out how good it is because he can’t even keep it in stock, so I buy a pint or two and bring it home to keep it in the fridge, adding it to smoothies or eating it with fruit.
By the way, out of curiosity I looked on Wikipedia what Anadolu means, and saw that “Anadolu is the Turkish form of Anatolia, which refers to a region of the world that is now part of the nation of Turkey.”
That region just got a whole lot bigger as Dumaguete in the Philippines is a proud member of the Turkish food scene with this great local eatery!