Monthly Archives: September 2013

Açıkdeniz – my local

This is a bit of a mystery as I can’t find out from Google if the restaurant is still there or not. Worth a look anyway, there has to be something in its place as there are no empty corners near busy mosques in Istanbul. I didn’t remember the experience until I got to the chicken soup part…then it came back to me. Continue reading


Behind Sarıyer Börek

I feel petty writing this one. It’s a minor point, and I know it’s going to sound worse in the telling than the actual thing which was, as I remember it, a nice morning. Continue reading

Sarıyer Börek

3 ***

Börek, you can eat it almost everywhere and it’s always amazing – a greasy, salty, pastry indulgence that fills you up until dinner time. Not something to travel for you might think, especially not all the way out to Sarıyer.  But Akbil full, stomach empty I took the bus from Taksim along the Bosphorous. Continue reading

Behind Zencefil

My review for Zencefil was my first real published piece of writing and appeared, more or less as it is here, in Time Out Istanbul. I’d been writing the blog for a couple of months and then lucked into being able to contribute it to the magazine in that way that can only really happen when you’re an ex-pat. Continue reading

Zencefil – A vegetarian oasis

I’m not a vegetarian but I do often act like one so I’m almost as appreciative of a vegetarian restaurant as a real meat avoider.  I very rarely cook meat at home and go for weeks without really noticing I haven’t had any.  Despite Turkish food being a very meat orientated cuisine, I don’t think vegetarians do too badly on the whole as mezes are largely vegetable based and often don’t leave room for a main course. That might be why Zencefil doesn’t try as hard as it could. Continue reading

The summer before he went away

These two events are the ones that show the weakness of the foundations I was building my 18 month defences on. I’m not even sure I built any defences for dealing with the prospect of my boyfriend’s military service. I thought we’d split up. I thought he’d end it and my job was to use the time of him being away to prepare for that. For some reason I always saw our future as the result of a decision that was his –  to stay with me –  instead of one that was mine – to not be with him. Continue reading

Behind Hidiv Kasrı and Kebabçı Iskender

These two restaurants have tentacles into various aspects of my Istanbul life.

As it turned out when I finally found Hidiv Kasrı, I’d been there plenty of times but just to the hilltop for the view and hadn’t realised there was a restaurant. I would have been there on a Monday and I can be so sure of the day, if not any of the actual dates, as it was somewhere I went with my Turkish boyfriend and we only ever went anywhere or did anything on a Monday as he worked the other 6 days of the week. Continue reading