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.
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no responses - Posted 01.17.14
Istanbul is a dynamic city, where conditions can change so quickly and completely that it’s easy to forget the way things used to be. The new reality can be so strong and ever-present that the past feels like a hazy dream, if that. But no, this is not an article ...continue
1 response - Posted 10.17.13
We generally regard the Grand Bazaar as a place of punishment, a den of aggressive, wolf-like hustlers and innocent, lamb-like tourists wearing novelty fez hats. When we have to go, we like to think of ourselves as members of a prison SWAT team, sent in to search a cell for ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.21.13
When it comes to the first meal of the day in Beşiktaş, it’s hard to pass up the institution that Pando’s lovely old kaymak shop has become. Yet as much as Pando is the neighborhood’s culinary standard-bearer, there is another side of breakfast in Beşiktaş that feels more contemporary, more ...continue
3 responses - Posted 06.22.12
On a hot summer day, the thought of sitting in a cramped kahvaltı salonu does not whet the appetite, nor does the prospect of paying a hefty hesap to eat breakfast at one of the swanky hotels that line the Bosphorus. It sometimes seems that you have to travel to ...continue
6 responses - Posted 02.21.11
(Editor's Note: This review originally appeared on May 18, 2009.) Mehmet Demir may not be one of Istanbul’s better-known restaurateurs, but he certainly is among its shrewdest. In fact, he has the best business plan in town: Demir runs a bustling business that has customers literally lining up in the street ...continue
2 responses - Posted 12.17.10
(Editor's Note: This post is part of our occasional "Since You Asked..." advice column. We welcome our readers' questions, so feel free to send any you might have to email@example.com) Hi! I'll have an 8-hour layover in Istanbul in a couple of weeks. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for ...continue
4 responses - Posted 11.22.10
(Editor's Note: This review of one of our all-time favorite places first appeared on April 1, 2009.) The no-frills Lades 2 presents diners with that age-old question: what to eat first, the chicken or the eggs? This restaurant - a Turkish version of the American-style greasy spoon diner - specializes in ...continue
3 responses - Posted 09.24.10
For breakfast lovers, the experience of arriving in the eastern Turkish city of Van is akin to what a gambler might feel upon showing up in Las Vegas – overwhelmed by the options and the promise of a serious payout. Van, of course, is the home and birthplace of the monstrous ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.08.10
We recently wrote about the emergence of the “esnaf nouveau,” a new class of restaurant in Istanbul that puts a more sophisticated spin on the classic esnaf lokanta (or “tradesmen’s restaurant”), the place where working stiffs come to get their daily fix of traditional Turkish comfort food. To the list of ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.20.10
With all of the hype around Bursa’s claim to fame, the İskender kebab, you’d think Bursans persisted on a diet of thinly sliced döner, pide, tomato sauce and frothy melted butter. But in between the spinning meat-sicles, the very icon of Turkish fast food, the markets of Bursa offer a ...continue