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Posts Tagged ‘ Istanbul restaurants ’

Aug 24
Monday

Meşhur Unkapanı İMÇ Pilavcısı: The (Rice) Freaks Come Out at Night

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Rice by night -- photo by Yigal Schleifer
One recent late night, zipping down a busy Istanbul thoroughfare in a taxi on our way home from the airport, we passed by an intriguing scene. Huddled around a brightly lit food cart was a large group of men stuffing their faces in a kind of zombie-like frenzy. It almost looked like a scene out of Night of the Living Dead. What were they eating?

Curious to find out what was going on, we returned several nights later, armed with nothing more than a notepad, pen and an empty stomach. As we made our way up Ataturk Bulvarı, a busy road in the Fatih neighborhood that runs through the Byzantine-era Valens Aqueduct and down to the Golden Horn, the cart – and the crowd – were again there at the same spot. The cart, it turned out, serves up a pilaf of rice, chickpeas and chicken along with ayran (a salty yogurt drink) – comfort food that comes at a very comforting price. Continue…

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All entries filed under this archive


Antiochia: Style and Taste
12 responses - Posted 08.16.09
In Istanbul, we’ve noted an inverse relationship between a restaurant’s atmosphere and what’s coming out of the kitchen. In most cases, as furniture design goes slick, as bathrooms get properly lit and ventilated, as the wait staff becomes customer-savvy, the quality of the kitchen inevitably goes down. Presumably, there are ...continue
Can Ciğer: For the Liver Lover in You
1 response - Posted 08.10.09
We’ve written previously about Turkey’s passionate love affair with liver, one that can turn downright obsessive in some parts of the country. Edirne, an old Ottoman capital city about two hours out of Istanbul, is one of those places. Filled with restaurants selling the dish and nothing but, Edirne is ...continue
Doğu Türkistan Vakfı Aş Evi: East Meets East
19 responses - Posted 08.03.09
Editor's note: The Ottoman-era building that houses this restaurant is currently undergoing restoration, which means that the restaurant is closed for now. According to one of its owners, the restoration work will be completed next summer and the restaurant will reopen with a new and improved kitchen. With the particularly un-catchy ...continue
Melengeç : Mean Greens
2 responses - Posted 07.31.09
They might as well have named Melengeç the “Solar Eclipse” or the “Dodo Bird,” because, in the handful of meals we’ve had at this cozy Arnavutköy restaurant, its namesake dish, melengeç, made from the green leaves of a tree from the Aegean shores, has not once made an appearance at the table. Luckily, there ...continue
Kıyı: A Winning Island Castaway
6 responses - Posted 07.27.09
Editor's note, October 2015: Sadly, we have recently received reports that after a change in ownership at Kıyı, the quality of the food here has gone down significantly. Although the area around the ferry terminal on Büyükada, the largest of the Princes’ Islands, tends to get unbearably crowded during the summer, ...continue
Mekan: The Cosmopolitan
8 responses - Posted 07.24.09
Sometimes billed as “that Armenian-Jewish restaurant in Beyoğlu,” Mekan harkens back to the neighborhood’s cosmopolitan past, when it was home to a large non-Muslim population. The food is sometimes Sephardic and Armenian, sometimes Turkish. But the important point here is the place’s authenticity. Mekan is not trying to be anything ...continue
The Grand Bazaar: Come for the Shopping, Stay for the Food
12 responses - Posted 07.15.09
We like to think of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – open since 1461 – as the world’s oldest shopping mall. If that’s the case, shouldn’t the Grand Bazaar be home to the world’s oldest food court? That may be taking the analogy too far, but for us, the Grand Bazaar can ...continue
Adem Baba: Soleman
5 responses - Posted 07.10.09
It must have taken an entire fleet's worth of nets, harpoons, anchors, life preservers and buoys to decorate the dining rooms of Adem Baba. The decorations makes sense: the restaurant got its start as humble, boat-borne kitchen floating dockside in the Bosphorus neighborhood of Arnavutköy, although now it has transformed ...continue
İsmet Baba: Great Fish for Goodfellas
2 responses - Posted 06.26.09
As the ferry approaches the dock at Kuzguncuk, a charming Bosphorus neighborhood on the Asian side, and passengers start scrambling for position at the bow to be the first to hop off, a soft yellow light, rakı-fueled laughter and a whiff of grilled fish seem to guide the boat in ...continue
Siirt Şeref Büryan Kebap Salonu: The Lamb Underground
16 responses - Posted 06.22.09
Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the restaurant has changed locations. The food remains as good as ever. The Kadınlar Pazarı – a very pleasant, pedestrian-only square in Istanbul’s Fatih neighborhood – is the closest the city has to having a “Little Kurdistan.” The surrounding ...continue

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