Each meatball made by a mother in each house is different. Because every mother’s touch and the way of her adding love to her dishes are different. We are surrounded with people who would not even touch a meatball that was not home cooked. Meatballs made by Köfteci Abi located on Kuşdili Street in Kadıköy are up for breaking these taboos. Coming to prominence with a vision that focuses on hygiene, meat quality, and sustainable taste, owner and chef of Köfteci Abi Ali Türkkanlı’s place that appeals to families has achieved to become a meeting point for meatball lovers who come not only from İstanbul, but from all over Turkey.

He achieved his dream with Köfteci Abi
Originally from Erzincan, Türkkanlı expresses that he enjoys cooking since childhood. We asked him how the idea of opening a meatball restaurant was born and received the following answer: “I always enjoyed eating meatballs and white bean salad. I opened Köfteci Abi in 2014. Our meatballs became popular in short time. The number of frequenters grew into large amounts. We also have other assertive dishes to offer. Our Rumelian style dried white bean stew, Edirne style fried liver, meatballs with eggplant, soups, oven roasted rice pudding, and semolina desserts are very delicious.”

He is also assertive with dried white bean stew and fried liver
Ali Türkkanlı states that as he was dreaming to open a restaurant that would become prominent with only meatball and chicken specials, things came to a much different point by means of the team he picked. He says, “As I was considering the applications for a cook, I met with Soner Alkın, with whom we work currently. Chef Soner told me that he was really good at making dried white bean stew. Thus, we added it to the menu. We use Erzincan beans. We are very assertive about cooking bean stew. Our cooking style is very different, too. That is why it does not cause gas. We cook our beans with lamb meat. We use a different type of sauce that we make it weekly. We use this sauce only for bean stew. As we were looking for a fry cook, we talked to a cook whose proficiency was slicing liver. While we were talking with him, we learned the fine details of cooking liver. Therefore, Edirne style liver too was added to the menu. It was followed by chick-filet with curry sauce, meatballs with eggplant, Rumelian style bean stew, liver, meatballs with cheese, and yakitori. We offer about thirty different flavors to our target mass including sides such as tsatsiki, soups, and desserts.”

Meatballs rest for a day
Shopping from the same butcher and using a special recipe for meatballs to achieve a sustainable taste, Ali Türkkanlı enters kitchen when the subject is making meatballs and follows every detail closely: “We only have one shot at winning the customers who come to our restaurant. That is why we always care to offer the most special dishes with the utmost hygiene measures to our customers. My desire is to see them leaving this place happy. We target to offer the same taste, hygiene, and price to our guests each time they visit us.” Türkkanlı who mentions that they use veal brisket, lamb meat, and animal fat called kavram says that they flavor the meat with a special spice mix and rest the meatballs for a day before serving. Special onion rings that they serve as a side are very delicious, too. Onions that are sliced largely are marinated in a mix that consists of red pepper flakes, olive oil, brown sugar, black pepper, and salt and then grilled.

Ingredients: 700 grams of veal brisket, 200 grams of animal fat (kavram), 100 grams of lamb meat, 200 grams of grated red onions (using the large side of the grater), 14 grams of salt, 120 grams of bread crumbs, 100 grams of water, 6 grams of cumin, 3 grams of garlic, 2,5 grams of black pepper, and 2 grams of coriander.
Directions: Place the veal brisket, kavram, and the lamb meat on a tray. Knead it well by adding the following in order: spices, onion, breadcrumbs, water, and garlic. Keep kneading until all ingredients are well combined. Then you can shape your meatballs and rest them in the refrigerator for a day. Enjoy!