Tünel Lokantası

**This restaurant is no longer there but whatever must have taken its place is well worth going to as this was the terrace**


Other establishments must have been beside themselves after Tünel Lokantası nabbed the only terrace in Tünel Meydanı. A fairly unassuming downstairs floor leds up to a third floor terrace looking onto sunset over the golden horn without the prices that normally goes with it. It must have been the only place in Istanbul with a view and an 8 lira (very cheap) Turkish breakfast platter.

A mainly organic menu of Turkish standards, like kebab, köfte and döner (lunchtimes only) with enough European dishes to fit its café vibe was enhanced by touches like the 12 different kinds of homemade breads, rotated daily and all freshly squeezed juices.

The minestrone soup was chunky farmhouse style, filling enough for a light lunch if accompanied by the much anticipated bread, a cake-like cheese and caramelized onion bread still warm from the oven. If Istanbul dwelling steak fans could actually remember the options other than well done, they’d have been gratified not only at being asked how they would like it, but also at getting what they asked for. A medium rare sirloin in peppercorn sauce and mash was a simple dish, reassuringly pink. Three cheese pasta with walnuts also pleased with its al dente texture. Rather than attempting innovation in the European sections the chef was clearly aiming for quality over flashiness.

Some hints of originality evidenced themselves in the house Ayran, with mint, cucumber and basil. It was a drink that required some time to ponder before returning a positive verdict. Long enough for me to insist that surely the cucumber made it Cacık, not Ayran, and for my assertion to be politely, but equally as insistently, rebutted. I kept quiet and drank my less controversial, refreshing, homemade lemonade.

Quickly passing over the Turkish milk based desserts looking for the real stuff, we chose pear and apple crumble and a flour free, warm chocolate cake. The former had a disappointingly cardboard flavor topping. It tasted like it must be good for you and needed a lot more sugar for crunch and indulgence. Points were more than retained by the half melted, half fudgy chocolate cake that managed to be light without losing any chocolatey-ness.

Tünel Lokantası
İstiklal Cad. No: 261
Tünel Meydanı

To read the story behind this review, go here.


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