MondayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
Even we sometimes find that our palates have grown weary of rakı and eggplant salad. Lately, when that happens, we’ve been heading over to the Asian side of Istanbul for unique Iranian-Turkish mezes and hearty carafes of Aegean red wine at Şiraz, a tiny meyhane in the Moda neighborhood of Kadıköy.
Opened two years ago by Elahe Eftekharinasr and Ahmet İlter Şenyurt, the miniscule place has seven tables, and a galley-sized open kitchen tucked into the back. A huge chalkboard covers one wall with the day’s offerings, and, if the weather permits, the whole front opens to the street.
“I built this restaurant for her,” says Şenyurt, “I said, ‘You’re the boss; whatever you want, do it.’” Eftekharinasr uses that creative license to serve up surprising and satisfying food inspired by her Iranian roots. She moved to Izmir, on the Turkish Aegean coast, from Iran, when she was eleven. “I learned to cook from my mother,” explains Eftekharinasr, “then I started to read cookbooks and work in restaurants.” We were tipped off about Şiraz by Emir Ali Enç, whose Soy copper pots are in heavy rotation at the restaurant. You may see him helping out in kitchen sometimes, too.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under Reviews (Eats)
no responses - Posted 11.05.14
The first time we approached the stand of the legendary fish sandwich man, we were pleasantly surprised by what we saw: a dark, portly man with a glorious mustache (hence his nickname, Mario) turning fish on a portable grill cart next to the Karaköy waterfront. He had a long line of ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.27.14
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 ...continue
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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