Kazan Turkish Cuisine:
95-36 Queens Blvd.,
Rego Park, NY 11357
Hours: Open seven days from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Parking: street parking
Handicap Accessible: Yes. The restaurant is located on the
Entertainment: Belly dancing on Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.,
Credit: Accepts all major credit cards.
Centuries of Turkish cuisine and its sage ingredient of simplicity have
been captured into this retreat on Queens Boulevard.
Though the restaurant is not large, the tables are amply spaced out.
Photos of an old Turkey and intricate, relic teapots hang on the wall.
Since the dishes at Kazan are not copious or heavy, ordering an
appetizer wouldnt be brash. Actually, not ordering one would be a sin.
As a Turkish appetizer, a good start would be Humus ($2.95), pureed
chickpeas mixed with tahini sauce, to be dipped with the homemade fresh bread. Or try the
Dolma ($3.95) which are grape leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts and spices.
On the hot side, a good choice is Sigara Borek ($3.50), which is feta
cheese and dill rapped in dough and fried.
Ercument Sakman owner of Kazan, said "We make our own dough and
evrything is fresh." Sakman, orginally from Ismir, Turkey used to own the Turkish
Cuisine in Manhattan on 44th Street. He opened Kazan less than two years ago.
As a main dish there are a variety of kebabs, meats charcoaled to
perfection. The Chicken Eggplant Kebab ($8.50) consists of chunks of marinated chicken
served over a simmered eggplant. The Kofte ($8.95) are patties of lamb seasoned with
spices that scintillate the senses. Kazan only uses lamb from the spring time, causing the
softer meat to melt in your mouth.
There are also vegetarian alternatives such as the Patlican Dolma
($8.95) which is sautéed eggplant stuffed with vegetables. Many of the dishes are
accompanied with rice, shredded carrots and raw onions that are sprinkled with chopped
parsely and soumak, which gives it a bitter lemony taste.
Just as the peaceful dinner progresses, be weary of a sudden blast of
Middle Eastern music. The drum beats of doumbeks rage on until they are accompanied by
finger cymbal and yes- gyrating hips. Digestion of the meal includes viewing a belly
dancer who skillfully pleases the crowd with a pelvis that has a life of its own.
Sira, who dances on Saturaday nights, balances and spins a sword on her
head while keeping up with the increasing tempo.
There will always be room for a dessert and nice Turkish coffee to end
the meal. The coffee is thick and strong and served in a small cup. For sweet coffee, ask
for it before it is prepared.
Though the very sweet desserts Baklava ($2.50) and Kadayif ($2.50) are
made with the same basics ingredients of nuts, filo dough and sweetened with syrup, I
usually prefer kadayif. They were both good at Kazan, but this time I preferred
Kazans outstanding Baklava. Sakman personally makes the Baklava.