Go to Ziggy's hungry--very. This is a restaurant that explodes your taste buds with flavors across the entire spectrum of excellent food and does so in ample quantities.
Named for their beloved late Airedale, Ziggy's is adorned with many canine portraits and many other decor details that seem to sing with personality.
The patio furniture is made from antique beds and sewing machine tables.
In lieu of a curtain in the upstairs dining room there is a suggestion of one made from fragments of antique cloth embroidered sash belts spaced and strung vertically from the wall.
You may be hungry but the first tip on how to enjoy Ziggy's to the max is to savor a glass of wine as you take in the decor that artist Nuray Yüksel has so charmingly displayed as you listen to the jazz notes that her husband and partner Selim Yüksel, a self-described jazz maniac has lovingly compiled.
Then let them bring on the food and just gush as one after another meze is brought to the table.
We feasted on the Ziggy's meze sampler, a winning item that has been on the menu since the restaurant's inception eight years ago. The range of superlative tastes is memorable. Eggplants seemingly saturated with tasty smokeare nothing like the eggplants in ever so tangy yogurt sauce also on the table. A creamy fava bean purée garnished with dill was sweetly satisfying. The Ziggy's special meze that day was a contrasting dish of cheese filled olives with chicken. Perhaps the favorite item in this panoply was the salad, which appeared to be a red soup. This was actually a dipping sauce for the bread that had a super-refreshing taste of crispy green pepper and herbs as the dominant flavor. It was almost outdone by the green salad of watercress in yogurt that was also brought to the table. Then, as a special treat we sampled the ever so garlicky Ziggy's potatoes. If you are a fellow garlic lover this is surely a deep satisfier.
Just when we thought the food coma had peaked, our table was cleared for the next round. These were meat courses included in this meze sampler. A borek pastry with mild pastrami was juxtaposed to liver or chicken that were cooked in a distinctly sweet way, the chicken for example swimming in garlic cooked nearly to sweet candy status.
This feast is the creation of chef Ali Ozkan who has been chef and manager since Ziggy's inception. Ali has been in the restaurant business for more than twenty years and he clearly knows how to hit that satisfaction spot with his cooking.
Rest assured that the feast we had will be there when you arrive.
Since the clientele of Ziggy's is just about tourist en toto both Ali and Nuray say they see little reason to change the menu. Ziggy's meze sampler is the most popular choice on the menu and is here to stay.
Could this dish feed three or possibly four? Yes, if you are willing to share.
A good thing to do as your feast digests is to visit Nuray's jewelry and crafts store on the first floor of the building.
You will spot the same wine bottle and water bottle dresses you saw in the restaurant. There is a wide array of jewelry--not all made by Nuray but definitely all liked by her because she will not sell art she doesn't favor.
Nuray and Selim moved to Cappadocia 20 years ago, before the restaurant and tourist boom took hold in the area. They were pioneers of building a home in a reclaimed cave and also one of the first Cappadocia restaurants to get a world following as any foray into Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor web sites will tell you. Ziggy's is a success story and it is no wonder why.
Ziggy’s is open all year and food is served from 11 a.m. to 10:30 PM.
Ziggy Cafe & Restaurant
Yunak Mah., Tevfik Fikret Caddesi
No. 24 Urgup - Nevsehir - Turkey
Phone: +90 (384) 341 7107
Photos: Peter Kachergis unless otherwise indicated