Fastwok

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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

Grand Bizarre

**In Time Out originally with a much weaker heading as I am crap at titles: I’m not eating that! Someone suggested this title afterwards.**

Part of any travelling experience is exploring the local food and every visitor to Turkey steps off the plane into the welcoming arms of the kebab stand, confident that this is the Real Deal. Which it is, of course. But the real adventure of Turkish cuisine is in venturing off the beaten track and eating the things that haven’t, and probably will never be, exported. Fancy a meal with a name sounding like ‘cockroach’? Anyone for sheep’s face? Continue reading

Dhoku – A Modern Kilim

‘You want buy carpet? My uncle’s shop….Good price, special for you….’ The Grand Bazaar is like the scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise’s retina is continually scanned to gauge which advertising holograms should pop up and talk at him until he passes beyond earshot.   Feeling like a piece of bloody tuna at shark feeding time, having made the mistake of wearing a skirt to the Kapalı Çarşı, and definitely not there to buy a carpet, I found myself drawn into one of the few places not trying to entice me in. Continue reading

The case for pide as opposed to pizza

**This appeared with a longer text written by Joshua Kloke extolling the virtues of Italian pizza joints in Istanbul which we presented as a sort of debate. Pizza vs lamacun.** Continue reading

Behind Did you know…?

This is a nice piece motivated from a nice place. Despite the fact he was never interested in my writing for Time Out, not really, I came up with the Ten Facts You Wouldn’t Find Out Without a Guide and was really happy I had a chance to share the writing of something with him. Continue reading

Did you know…..?

Be the geek at the back of your tour group with facts not even the guides all know. Continue reading