Behind Atika and Çukurkeyif Bahçe

Three things happened around the time I discovered Atika and Çukurkeyif Bahçe.

  1. Kylie Minogue came to play in Istanbul.
  2. I got offered a summer job so good I decided, after much mental to and fro, to stay in Turkey over summer instead of taking the job I had set up in England.
  3. I made a lemon drizzle cake.

Continue reading

Çukurkeyif Bahçe

3 1/2 ***

**This restaurant is no longer there**

For the last couple of months, Çukurkeyif Bahçe has been Çukurcuma’s best kept secret.  Now word of mouth has started to reach the newspapers and it won’t only be frequented by those lucky enough to have heard the whisper from someone who knows someone who’s been.  Continue reading

Atika

4 ****

The terrace of this Atika ( Şimşirci Sok. No: 6 D:1, Cihangir)  is its main selling point. Which sounds like damning with faint praise, but it’s such a feature of the place that it should be on the menu. A refurbished ex-consulate, the perfect location hiding at the back of the street facing building is a sophisticatedly opulent setting to the most gorgeous backdrop in Cihangir. Continue reading

Behind FastWok and Cezayir

There’s nothing massively significant about these places in themselves, other than the emphasis on international. Turkish food is amazing and varied but even that gets boring after a while and you start craving something otherly or Turkish but less predictable. It’ s a need for variety and spice that my boyfriend just never had and a constant indication of my potential for boredom due to lack of stimulation. Continue reading

Cezayir

5 *****

Cezayir, queen of French Sokak (Hayriye Cad, Galatasaray), reigns from a restored school building that has kept its high ceilinged corridors and respectable, institutional feel until you get to the toilets which are decorated to make you feel like you’re on acid. In winter, you come for the food alone, which is no bad thing. The menu is one of the few in Istanbul than really tries to do something a bit different instead of the samey sameness of most of the restaurants at this level. In summer, you get the double – the creative food and the great garden space; part bar, part restaurant, part hang out. Continue reading

Fastwok

2 **

Nothing sets the nerves atingle quite like the chance discovery of a new ethnic restaurant in Istanbul, no matter how many times you’ve been sucked in before. To sit outside a cafe soaking up the meyhane atmosphere of Asmalımescit (Asmalımescit Mahallesi Sofyalı Sokak No: 20)
but with a dish of noodles….Ah, how international. Continue reading

Behind Dhoku, Pide vs pizza and Grand Bizarre

The Dhoku piece was one of the first I wrote that wasn’t food related. There had been two others about gyms and cycling in the city but the first was very factual and not worth putting here and the second isn’t very revealing of anything in my life other than that I bought a bike and cycle a couple of times in the city and didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. Istanbul is not a cycle friendly city – at least not on the European side. Continue reading