The Iskender Way

We came across this restaurant while walking through Mersin’s commercial Istiklal street. Maybe it was the crowd outside surrounding the open dessert window or maybe it was the juicy shawarma skewer rotating at the front entrance – whatever it was, we were happy we found it.

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Gundogdu Iskender has been around since 1968 with several branches around Turkey, yet it retains a certain “home-y-ness” not found in other chain restaurants.

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Father and Son

Walking in, you’re warmly greeted by the manager. They welcomed us warmly and kept careful attention as we ate if we needed anything else. We were completely satisfied – especially once we tried the food and hopelessly fell in love with their home-made Ayran yoghurt drink – frothier and creamier than any other we’ve ever tried.

And we can’t forget their Iskender kebap dish! If there’s anything we missed once we returned from Turkey, it was the food we had at this place. Simply delicious!

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İskender Kebab: A traditional recipe invented by İskender Efendi in the 19th Century.

I spent a week in Istanbul and nothing I ate their ever came close to the food we had at Gundogdu Iskender.


If you live in Qatar, you’re in luck. You can try it out at Iskender Kebab restaurant. If not, then you can try to make it yourself. Try out one of these two recipes and let us know if you liked it as much as we do.

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