Join our mailing list!
Email :  


Posts Tagged ‘ Beyoğlu ’

May 18
Monday

Kenan Usta Ocakbaşı: Skewers at an Exhibition

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Kenan Usta Ocakbası, photo by Monique Jaques

If Istanbul had a city museum, in the 20th-century exhibition we’d expect to walk into a life-sized recreation of Kenan Usta Ocakbaşı, a seminal grill joint in the Beyoğlu district. Descending a few steps into the exhibition, sensors would trigger the harsh light of fluorescent bulbs overhead, illuminating a room covered in photographs of husky men with mustaches posing with a stout man in an apron, grill master Kenan Usta. The somber, groaning warble of the great Arabesque singer Müslüm Gürses would cue up in the visitors’ rented headsets and ducts inside the replica grill would belch out smoke scented authentically by grilled meat. Arrows on the floor would encourage visitors to sit down at one of the seats surrounding the large grill in the center of the room across from a skewer-wielding rendering of Kenan Usta himself. As the earphones filled with Kenan’s voice telling his own story of migrating from an Anatolian village to Istanbul as a boy and the hard-won modest success of this outsider, one that is as significant to contemporary Istanbul as the Hagia Sophia is to the skyline, the visitor to this exhibition would start to feel a mixture of pleasure and pain, amplified by an anise-scented sedative chemical released from the ducts.

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 this archive


Lakerda: Istanbul’s Salty, Fishy Soul
no responses - Posted 02.10.15
The fatty torik – the Turkish name for a large, mature Atlantic bonito, similar to the little tunny – courses the straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for just a short period each year in November and December. Yet the people of Istanbul eat it year-round by preserving the ...continue
İsmail Amca’s Menemen: Eggstra Special
no responses - Posted 01.07.15
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 ...continue
Murat Kelle Paça: The Soup Kitchen
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
Farooj al Zaeem: Slow Fast Food
1 response - 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
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
Gastronomika: The High-Concept Free Lunch
no responses - Posted 09.04.14
Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? In fact, over at Gastronomika, a new Istanbul culinary project, the food is served not only free of charge but also with an intriguing – and ambitious – backstory. As Gastronomika’s founders describe it, the project is “an open-source, long-term, community ...continue
The Break Fast of Champions
no responses - Posted 07.09.14
Think of Ramadan, which began in late June in many parts of the world, as a kind of monthlong biathlon that consists of an all-day race to beat back the hunger and thirst of fasting, followed by an all-night marathon of eating and drinking in order to fortify the body ...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
Spring (Food) Break 2014
no responses - Posted 04.16.14
With all of the anticipation of local elections in March, the scandalous graft-laden tapes leaked via social media, the communication fog brought on by the ban of Twitter and YouTube and the subsequent call for a vote recount in many cities, this city’s stomach had good reason to be distracted. ...continue
Grills and Thrills: Istanbul’s Top 5 Kebab Restaurants
no responses - Posted 03.06.14
If there are an estimated 17 million souls in Istanbul, then there are at least that many opinions on the best kebab house in town. There are stodgy oak-paneled rooms with country-club appeal, where well-dressed businessmen marvel at heaping plates of delicious grilled meat. And there are 24/7 hole-in-the-walls, ...continue

© Copyright by Istanbul Eats 2009 - 2015 Istanbul Eats | Original theme by Zidalgo.