Category Archives: International

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

White Mill

4 ****

From the street, White Mill looks Continue reading

Ranchero – Turk Mex

4 ****

The product of the owner’s Mexican and Turkish parents’ dream, Ranchero aims to bring home-made Mexican cuisine to Istanbul.  It might have taken them since 1977 to realize their goal but if most of that time went into planning the extensive menu, it was worth the wait. Continue reading

Garden Cafe – Winter hangout

3 ***

To find this place you must have been inducted by someone else who has, in turn, been brought by another insider. Tucked away between apartment buildings just behind Mecidiyeköy’s noisy crossroads, Garden Cafe takes its theme seriously. Plastic frogs croak and stuffed cats miaow as you open the bamboo door, a fake tree forms the centre of the bar area and plants and butterflies abound. It manages to err just on the right side of kitsch and the covered winter garden is so well heated and protected from the elements it doesn’t matter if the weather prevents you from sitting outside.

Continue reading

The House Cafe – An Empire

5****

You could build an entire Saturday around The House Café’s Istanbul Empire. Walk along the Bosphorus from Beşiktaş to avoid the traffic and work up an appetite for breakfast or brunch at the Ortaköy waterfront restaurant; spend the afternoon and all your cash in Nişantaşı and drink lemonade in the original Teşkvikiye garden café; do the Sunday promenade along İstiklal, stopping off for coffee at the latest House Café, on your way to the Tünel café for dinner. Continue reading

Taj Mahal – A warning

I’ll preface this by saying I’m not completely sure this restaurant still exists or that the one that turns up in Google is the same one. Anyway, I always loved this review. The bad ones are the most fun to write. Continue reading