guides you to the best local dishes & drinks in
150+ cities.
See map now

Join the Project

EYW wants your food photos!

Laal maas


Upload a photo now

Food Memories

EYW wants your food stories!

How to Enjoy Eating Amala and Abula

Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria

Growing up was fun because of the people I shared my childhood with. My parents are both natives of Ibadan, so we eat Amala and Abula a lot in my family since they are from the same origin. I don't... Read more

Write a Food Memory now

  • What to eat
  • How to burn it off
  • Where to Stay
<<prev  next>>

<< back to foods in Istanbul

Tavuk göğsü (Chicken breast pudding)

Tavuk gogsu, or chicken breast pudding, in Istanbul, Turkey

Tavuk göğsü translates to “chicken breast pudding,” which sounds stranger than it is: a creamy, milky-sweet, fibrous pudding that we find absolutely delicious. It just happens to be made with rice flour, milk, sugar, and boiled, finely shredded chicken.

Taste wise, it’s not too far off from a rice pudding, and it is sometimes likewise dusted with cinnamon, but its texture is totally different—stickier, stringier, denser. And then there’s the ever-so-subtle taste of poultry. (While the meat is used as a thickening agent, not for flavor, we still detected it, in a not-at-all-off-putting way.) An Ottoman dish once served to the sultans of Istanbul’s palaces, tavuk göğsü is a royal treat. 

Where: Tucked off the narrow streets of hip Cihangir, old-school Özkonat (212-249-1307; Akarsu Cad. No. 46/B, map) is clearly a holdover from a past generation—and a local gem at that. Dating to 1963, it’s both a lokanta (casual restaurant), with a steam table in the back, and a muhallebi evi, or custard house, the mysterious milky-white plates of which are displayed in a glass window at the front, viewable from the street. Their looks alone might not lure you inside, but trust us—you want to eat them.

2022 update: Sadly, Özkonat closed in late 2021, citing rising expenses and tax hikes (source: Culinary Backstreets). Please see our alternatives instead.

Order: The tavuk göğsü (6 TL) is a true pudding, sweet and milky with a uniquely gooey, fibrous texture. Spoonful by spoonful, it disappeared before we knew it. There are lots of other great desserts to try here—next time we’ll follow Istanbul Eats’ advice and also order the kazandibi, another milky-sweet pudding with a caramelized-sugar exterior. 

Alternatively: Established local chain Saray Muhallebicisi (multiple locations including the 1935 original at İstiklal Cad. No. 173, map) carries tavuk göğsü, kazandibi, and other puddings, but in general look for it at shops calling themselves muhallebecisi orpastanese (pastry shops).


Istanbul Kindle Guide

Now on!

Istanbul Food & Travel Guide by Eat Your World

Download our Istanbul Food & Travel Guide to your Kindle, smartphone, or tablet and get the inside scoop on 22 delicious, quintessential food and drink experiences in Istanbul, Turkey. $3.99

Click here to buy

Forgot password