Gather around this cauldron for your family feast
Kazan in the Turkish language means “a large cauldron” and it is generally associated with plentiful food shared by large crowds of people or families. Kazan Restaurant has been serving feasts to Fairfax families since 1980.
Owner Zeynel Uzun, who comes from a long line of famous cooks from Mengen, Turkey is ever present to oversee every detail of the restaurant as well as entertain the guests with his stories about his famous and political friends. We started our dinner with Kazan Meze Special appetizer. It is plentiful and served over a large plate that is ideal for sharing. Our family enjoyed sharing hummus, stuffed grape leaves “Dolmas”, feta cheese and circassian style chicken. Our kid’s favorites were the spicy Turkish sausage called “Sucuk” and the feta stuffed phyllo “Boreks” shaped like cigarettes. In fact, in Turkey they are called “Cigarette Boreks” and it is a favorite of kids’. The name is not surprising considering cigarettes were invented by Turks.
Zeynel grills all of his kebabs over an open fire of petrified wood which is the traditional Turkish way of barbecuing. You can taste and smell the wonderfully aromatic smell of wood in all of your entrees. We ordered Kazan Special with Yogurt, Lamb Shish Kebab and Mixed Grill Kebab. My wife tried the Kazan Special with Yoghurt which is served with morsels of grilled lamb sautéed with fresh tomatoes and served over toasted pita bread. She liked the tenderness of lamb and the fact that it did not smell or taste “lamby”. My son tried the Lamb Shish Kebab with tender cuts of marinated lamb, skewered with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions, grilled over petrified wood and served over rice. He loved the meat and the rice, but he left all veggies untouched as he is still 7 years old. Our experienced waiter, Mr. Cemal took one look at me and said “A man your size “needs” to order the Mixed Grill Kebab.” I tried the spicy Turkish meatballs “Koftes”, grilled chicken breast and two lamb chops served over rice. The Koftes were zestfully spiced and I enjoyed the tender yet thoroughly
cooked lamb chops. As for the chicken, it was cooked to perfection yet juicy and tender. If you don’t overeat the rice, this is actually a very healthy and low fat dish.
For our desserts, we tried the Chocolate Mousse, Orange Baklava and the Kazan Dibi. Chocolate Mousse was for our son and it is as good as it gets in any establishment. Let’s talk about the other two. I tried the non-traditional Orange Baklava which is an innovative and light way of combining Baklava with fruit. It is a very light version of the traditional Baklava which would be made with pistachio or walnuts. I commend Kazan for taking risks after 28 years and trying new versions of 1,000 year old recipes. My wife tried the Kazan Dibi which literally means the “bottom of the cauldron.” It is a milk pudding that is caramelized at the bottom of the pot and served upside down to expose the burnt side. This desert combines marvelous tastes and smells of caramelized sugar, milk pudding, cinnamon and a little bit of Turkey. If you want to eat great food, meet interesting people and rub elbows with the politically powerful of DC, follow the rainbow to its end where you will find a pot of great food at Kazan.
6813 Redmond Drive Mclean, Virginia
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