Join our mailing list!
Email :  


Reviews (Eats) - Category Archive

Oct 27
Monday

Farooj al Zaeem: Slow Fast Food

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Farrooj al Zaeem, photo by Monique Jaques

Farooj al Zaeem is, pretty much, the best kind of restaurant made to resemble the worst kind of restaurant. If the neighborhood – one of Beyoğlu’s most unkempt snatches – doesn’t send you running, then the look of this place, like a knockoff polo shirt with misspellings, will signal that something here is not right.

Despite the wall of pre-folded fried chicken takeout boxes and all the signage dedicated to the house specialty, no one comes to this Syria-based chain without wiping a thin triangle of fresh pita through a few of the Syrian specialties, which are all executed so well here. Though the whole vibe of the place – cramped interior, cartoony sheriff rooster logo, uniformed staff, enlarged food photos with a corporate sheen – would tell you otherwise, this is actually a place where Syrians come to get proper, freshly made food that tastes like home. Zaeem is so authentically Syrian that some just pass through to say hello the Syrian way, a quick handshake and a kiss of the fingers.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.

Share on Facebook
Post to Google Buzz
Bookmark this on Google Bookmarks
Bookmark this on Yahoo Bookmark
Bookmark this on Digg
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on FriendFeed

All entries filed under Reviews (Eats)


Meşhur Tarihi Kalkanoğlu Pilavcısı: Smell Business Owners
no responses - Posted 10.15.14
The brothers Altu and Erol Aslan, who operate the Yeni Melek corner store on Ayhan Işık Sokak in Istanbul’s Beyoglu neighborhood, have a legitimate complaint against their next-door neighbor, Tarihi Kalkanoğlu Pilavcısı. The shop – morning, noon and night – really does reek of butter. For those unfamiliar with the ...continue
Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı: Gaucho Kebab Rides Again
no responses - Posted 10.06.14
Istanbul has plenty of kebab joints, but places serving cağ are sadly hard to find. Originating in the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum, the kebab looks like a horizontal döner, but tastes otherworldly. If South American cowboys somehow found themselves in Erzurum’s grassy Turkish steppe, they would surely be struck ...continue
Pot Dealer: Reviving a Turkish Coppersmithing Tradition
no responses - Posted 09.25.14
When we pick up a hefty, shiny copper pan in his workshop, Emir Ali Enç unhesitatingly claims, “You are now holding the best saucepan in the world.” Wait, he says, actually the best one is his fully silver version. Enç is the gregarious founder, owner and CEO of Soy Türkiye, whose copper ...continue
Mantık Mantı: Diaspora Dumplings, Part 2
no responses - Posted 09.15.14
Editor’s note: We’ve written previously about the strong connection between exiles and their dumplings; in this review, guest contributor İdil Meşe writes of her own family’s ties to this comfort food. My grandfather passed away before I was born, and although we never met, he has always been a fascinating figure for ...continue
CB on the Road: Island Hopping Fit for a Prince
no responses - Posted 08.06.14
One of our favorite spots to make a quick summer getaway from Istanbul is the idyllic car-free and forested paradise of the Princes’ Islands, located just a short ferry ride away from the city. Here’s where you should eat when you get there. Club Mavi While most visitors end up getting lured ...continue
Azerbaycan Sofrası: The Baku-Istanbul Culinary Pipeline
no responses - Posted 07.21.14
Looking at a map of the southern Caucasus, you’d expect Azerbaijan to be the next big thing in the world of food, sandwiched as it is between culinary heavyweights Georgia and Iran, connected as it is in so many ways to Anatolian Turkey. Previous trips to that country have not ...continue
Tophane Tarihi Taş Fırın: Fast Break Bake
no responses - Posted 07.21.14
Every year, for one month only, bakeries across Istanbul churn out round, flat, yeasty loaves of ramazan pide bread. Before Muslims break fast at sundown, they hurry to buy these addictively chewy pides, which are essential to the iftar meal here. Some bakeries rely on machines to shape the pide and stamp the traditional checkerboard pattern on ...continue
Turkistan Uygur Lokantası: Food from the Noodlelands
no responses - Posted 06.13.14
Anyone who has spent time in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia (or, “the ’Stans”) will have developed a deep and lasting appreciation for the cuisine of the Uighur, a Turkic people spread across the region whose homeland, Uygurstan, lies across the border in western China. In Dushanbe, faced with ...continue
Çukur Meyhane: When Liver Met Hamsi
no responses - Posted 05.29.14
The departure of Aret, our favorite garson in the city, had us reconsidering our love of this little cubbyhole meyhane where we've spent so many nights over the years. With our loyalty to Aret and his to us, would it not be cheating to return to Çukur when Aret now runs his own place just a ...continue
CB on the Road: Getting Souped Up at Gaziantep’s Metanet
no responses - Posted 05.02.14
It is impossible to sleep late in Gaziantep, despite the tranquility of the historic quarter, the calming, hunker-in-and-go-back-to-sleep effect of the hotel room’s thick stone walls and the comforting, dusty smell of antique furniture. Even the promise of a nice breakfast spread served between 7:30 and 10 a.m. could not ...continue

© Copyright by Istanbul Eats 2009 - 2014 Istanbul Eats | Original theme by Zidalgo.