MondayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
It wasn’t quite as dramatic as Meg Ryan’s big moment at Katz’s Deli in When Harry Met Sally, but a low-register, guttural moan of pleasure was detected from our table when we tasted the shredded celery root in yogurt, a house specialty meze at Çukur Meyhane. And we weren’t faking it.
We stop into scores of meyhanes, or traditional Turkish tavernas, and eat more yogurt mezes than we care to report, all for the sake of finding that one masterful meze among the goopy masses. Most mezes in Istanbul are fine, but very few can be considered orgasmic.
Çukur Meyhane, a small, slightly shabby, basement meyhane in Beyoğlu’s Galatasaray area, certainly does not look like the kind of place with any shining stars on the menu. On one of our very first visits, the floor seemed to be covered in a mixture of sawdust, table scraps and some cigarette ash. The tiny open kitchen occupies one corner, while the VIP table – where a group of old-timers can be found watching horse races on TV, scratching at racing forms, cursing and cheering – takes up a slightly larger area.
The rest of this previously featured review can be found on CulinaryBackstreets.com, here.
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no responses - Posted 11.26.12
We can’t prove it, but we suspect a network of tunnels lies underground in Beyoğlu that connects most of the meyhanes of Asmalımescit and Nevizade Sokak to the same mediocre kitchen, resulting in unexceptional mezes at scores of venues in this dining district. Following a number of tips, our search ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.12.12
The arrival of fall in Istanbul usually means one thing for us: hamsi season is about to begin. Hamsi, of course, are the minuscule fish (Black Sea anchovies) that Istanbulites are mad about, and the coming of fall and the cooling of the waters of the Black Sea mark the beginning ...continue
5 responses - Posted 06.02.12
We can’t prove it, but we suspect a network of tunnels lie underfoot in Beyoğlu connecting most of the meyhanes of Asmalımescit and Nevizade sokak to the same mediocre kitchen. We have tasted the haydari, patlıcan salatası, pilaki and lakerda at scores of meyhanes in this little dining district. Most ...continue
1 response - Posted 05.11.12
A recent article in one of Turkey’s English-language newspapers, describing plans by Mey İçki, Turkey’s largest producer of rakı, to introduce the anise-flavored liquor to Europe, left us both steamed and amused. As part of its efforts to promote the consumption of rakı, it appears the company – along with ...continue
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