WednesdayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
Times are changing in Tarlabaşı, one of the most culturally diverse, interesting and occasionally dangerous neighborhoods of Istanbul.
The government’s billion-dollar Tarlabaşı 360 project aims to gentrify this area. Even with its seedy streets full of young ruffians and Syrian refugees, Tarlabaşı oozes with a charming ambiance like no other. Its beautiful architecture, dating back to Ottoman times, is covered in layers of soot and filth that cover unmistakable beauty.
Most charming of all is its resident menemen chef, İsmail Amca (“uncle” in Turkish), one of the more adorable Turkish characters we’ve met. He enjoys his retired life making the elemental egg dish menemen on the corner of Kurdela Sokak, a bustling thoroughfare that on Sundays is host to Tarlabaşı’s colorful weekly bazaar. An Istanbul native, İsmail Amca used to work odd jobs in factories before he retired and opened up his little menemen shop just over two years ago. Bubbling with friendliness and with a warm smile that is unmatched by any, İsmail Amca instantly makes you feel at home in his dark and cramped little kitchen, which has only a couple of tiny chairs and tables scattered about.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under Reviews (Eats)
no responses - Posted 12.29.14
Most of Murat Kelle Paça’s clientele stumble in between 1 and 5 o’clock in the morning, after a boisterous night of drinking, concert-going and dancing. Located in the heart of Beyoğlu and surrounded by the best nightlife in Istanbul, if not all of Turkey, Murat attracts one of the most ...continue
no responses - Posted 12.01.14
Istanbul Eats lunch hunting tip #1: Wander into one of Istanbul’s numerous districts of small commerce and find yourself on a small street with a shoe cobbler, a knife sharpener and hardware shops. #2: Enter one of these shops, preferably one where two old men are sitting at the counter looking at the ...continue
1 response - Posted 11.10.14
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 ...continue
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