Tag Archives: Turkish food

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

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

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

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** Continue reading

Helvetia

3 ***

Amongst the trendy bars, boisterous meyhanes and ‘in’ places to eat in Asmalı Mescit, Helvetia is an unassuming, almost unmarked, place that beckons you in with a warm hug rather than a ‘Daahling! Mwah, mwah’. Continue reading

Kosinitza

5 *****

Fish restaurants in Istanbul can get a bit samey, varying only in how much they charge for simple plates of grilled or fried fish. Kosinitza, a Time Out Food and Drink Award’s nominee in 2008, allows far more scope for originality by using fish and seafood as ingredients in dishes, rather than as the only thing on the plate. 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.

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