Arriving midday at our beautifully set cave hotel in the Ortahisar town, we only got a chance to quickly finish a spinach quiche and a chocolate muffin offered at the hotel, before rushing out to begin our lovely trip of Cappadocia. After a mesmerizing tour of the underground city, we made our way to the pumpkin plantations and apricot picking in the neighborhood. It was a unusual experience; acres of plantations and hundreds of apricot trees, and not a soul in sight. Our driver confidently told us not to worry and pick what we liked. I gladly picked some apricots and a bunch of red grapes which grew alongside. After enjoying the freshly picked fruits, we were now waiting to reach Ziggy Café in Urgup for dinner, before making the last stop at the village of Mustafapasa.
The Old Greek House in Mustafapasa seemed to be coming straight out from the past, and it wasn’t hard to get lost in its magical old time charm. Built in 1800’s, we learnt that it was sold to the Ozturk family in 1938, who later converted it to a restaurant and are still running it. It became one of the most famous restaurants in Cappadocia, and one look inside the house justified its fame. One of the young family members offered us a tour of the whole house including the 3 eating areas and 2 terraces (where we noticed peppers being dried to make pickle). Charmed by the place, we decided to try out a few dishes from the offering. The menu was extensive with ample vegetarian choices. We went for mercimek kofte (lentil balls) and patates kizartmasi (French fries!) and were served with complimentary dips Ezme (onions, peppers, tomato paste) and Hayadri (dill and garlic yogurt) with bread. Everything tasted fresh and cooked to perfection. Turkish potatoes are slightly sweet, so I didn’t personally enjoy the fries, while Prateek loaded up on them :). This place is a must visit when visiting Cappadocia!
Our last stop for the day was the Ziggy Café in Urgup. Having heard great reviews about the breathtaking views and the modern Turkish dishes it offers, we saved some appetite for it and planned to spend some time soaking up the natural Cappadocia beauty on the terrace of the restored stone house. Set amidst centuries old cave houses carved out from millions of years old soft rock from volcanic eruptions, the café boasted a contemporary menu including an extensive wine and cocktail list. The pleasant contrast is more than enough to make it a special evening for its guests. We ended up ordering only rice and herb stuffed peppers and a mixed fruit juice followed by a desert. Everything was styled well and tasted fresh. We ordered a bit too less to be able to judge the overall food quality, but we liked what we had. And the spectacular open views are more than enough to make the experience worthwhile! Highly recommended!