“Vona” is the former name of Ordu, a city on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. Vonalı Celal (literally, “Cenal from Vona”) is a restaurant that’s been serving the cuisine of the region, as well as the incredible pickles they make themselves, since 1976. You’ll find not only the flavours of Ordu, but also Black Sea region cuisine at Vonalı Celal, so this is a good opportunity to try unusual dishes not normally served at restaurants.
Let’s start with the soups. The soups incorporate hazelnuts, fish and collard greens, the latter of which is served with Ordu’s regional Bileki bread. As for cold dishes, one of the most flavourful finds at Vonalı Celal is the dish made with kaldirik herb, which grows at the foot of the hazelnut tree. Other must-try flavours include merulcan, picked from the mountains of the Black Sea region in the spring, and stuffed cabbage. It’s hard to choose from among the hot dishes, with flavours such as mıhlama (a dish indigenous to the Black Sea region, made with corn flour, butter and cheese); karayemiş kavurma, made with seedless cherry laurel; roast made with the tirmit mushroom that grows in the mountains of Ordu; the Black Sea omelette kaygana, made with the sakarca herb that grows in the region; cabbage dible (vegetable dish with rice); kuru fasulye from Çayeli (a town in the province of Rize, on the Black Sea coast) made with İspir beans; and keşkek (a dish of pounded meat and wheat). You can opt for the many vegetarian hot dishes, or try the kuru köfte (grilled meat patties). Hamsi, or anchovies, plays the lead role in the “Karadeniz’den” (“From the Black Sea”) section of the menu. In addition to poached and panfried hamsi (anchovies), you’ll find options such as hamsi with rice that includes currants and pine nuts; boneless Black Sea hamsi; and hamsi guşi, cooked with corn flour. Let’s also note that the butter comes from Trabzon.
Vonalı Celal’s pickles, which have surpassed the restaurant’s dishes in popularity, are a must-try. They’ve opened a small store for pickles on the same floor as the restaurant in the Sapphire shopping mall. Vonalı Celal offers a whopping 101 kinds of pickles, from plums, cherries, cherry laurel, yenidünya (Japanese plum) and kısır (cracked wheat) to grapes, eggs, mushrooms, merulcan (a regional fresh herb that’s also called diken ucu) and parsley root. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a couple of jars of these pickles, which are all made in, and brought from, Ordu.
It goes without saying that the desserts are also from the green North of our country. Ordu’s famous helva, Kedi Bilal’s Helva, melts in the mouth. Another dessert we definitely recommend is the Laz pastry made with the same filo dough used for baklava. However, hands-down, our favourite flavour is the light pumpkin cake, a specialty of the chef who’s from Rize.
From the menu
Collard greens soup 4.5 TL
Merulcan 6 TL
Mıhlama 10 TL
Hamsi with stuffing rice 15 TL
Pumpkin cake 7 TL
|Venue name:||Vonalı Celal|
|Opening hours:||Daily 10.00-22.00.|