WednesdayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
Dürüm is the specialty at Basta Street Food Bar, but you won’t find a smoky grill inside this tiny Kadıköy storefront. With its bright turquoise counter, tile-patterned floor, and steel-topped, light-wood stools, Basta looks more like a hip café than a traditional kebab joint.
“One customer came in, sat at the counter, took one look at what we were doing in the kitchen and walked right out,” laughs Kaan Sakarya. The former chef of the highly rated Nicole restaurant in Istanbul, Sakarya opened Basta in April along with colleague Derin Arıbaş. Their aim: applying their fine-dining training to gourmet fast food – specifically dürüm, grilled meat wrapped up inside lavaş flatbread.
What apparently unnerved that dubious diner was the sight of pre-cooked meat being reheated on a flat-top griddle, rather than skewers of raw kebab meat being cooked over coals.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.
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no responses - Posted 10.31.16
Kurtuluş Son Durak is a busy intersection and transit hub that’s a hive of activity 24 hours a day. Marking a transition between the tidy, middle-class Kurtuluş neighborhood and the rough-and-tumble quarters of Dolapdere and Hacıahmet, the area is home to a host of eateries and cafes that never seem ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.20.16
We got hungry after doing some serious exploration in the Asian-side neighborhood of Mustafa Kemal, a hotbed for left-wing groups and a melange of informally built homes in the shadow of the rapidly developing district of Ataşehir. Passing by a string of uninspiring döner and pide joints, we inevitably opted ...continue
no responses - Posted 12.15.15
Editor’s note: To give 2015 a proper send-off, we’re taking a look back at all our favorite eating experiences this year. Hamo’nun Yeri The nohut dürüm, a simple wrap of mashed chickpeas, peppers, parsley and spices, may be a popular breakfast choice in certain districts of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, but ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.02.15
In many parts of Istanbul, it’s not unusual to reside amidst industry in progress. It could be a workshop in your building’s basement where fire extinguishers are refilled, a copper pot re-tinning enterprise just outside your front door or a knockoff Fendi purse assembly line you catch a surprising glimpse ...continue
no responses - Posted 10.13.15
Istanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood harbors an unfortunate reputation derived from its seedy nightclubs and the heavy presence of illegal brothels, which turn profits from sex trafficking. But as the city continues to transform at dizzying speeds, Aksaray’s status as an underbelly has begun to be overshadowed by that of a diverse, exciting ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.28.15
To the uninitiated, the restaurant owners of a small corner of Istanbul’s Yenibosna neighborhood might come off as having an unhealthy obsession with particularly garish versions of the colors yellow and green. As we recently explored the lower end of the Yenibosna neighborhood, one of Istanbul’s large periphery districts, we stumbled ...continue
no responses - Posted 07.29.15
Along the southwestern coast of Turkey, the vibrant blue waters of the Mediterranean crash against dry, rocky mountains jutting from the water’s edge. For centuries, pilgrims and adventurers alike have scrabbled over the unforgiving terrain between Fethiye and Antalya known as the Lycian Way. Ruins dating back to Greek and Roman ...continue
no responses - Posted 06.05.15
The only positive thing about the torturous annual visit we make to Istanbul’s main police station in order to renew our residence permit is the chance to drive through the low-rent Aksaray neighborhood.It's home to dozens of intriguing off-the-beaten-path restaurants, most of them opened by migrants from other parts of ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.18.15
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. As visitors descended a few steps into the exhibition, sensors would trigger the harsh light of fluorescent bulbs overhead, illuminating ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.05.15
As we’ve written here before, if you do a little rooting around, the Grand Bazaar can be as much about the food as it is about the shopping. Case in point: Aynen Dürüm, a microscopic kebab shack at the edge of the sprawling bazaar that serves exceptionally good wraps (or, ...continue