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Excellent report. Few observations - Beyalou and Itsikal Caddessi are always mobbed with the youth of IST. jam packed with Clubs,bads and eateries of all kinds and price range.

Tugra, in Hotel Kampinski is an expensive restaurant - We did not try the tasting menu - The Hotel has an outdoor bar during summer with great vodka and a decent caviar selection.


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The reporter made a fine selection of 15 restaurants in the city with a bias for some of the most expensive places, esp. Le Pecheur, Four Seasons, Tugra and Mavi Balik. The interesting thing is that if one selects purely randomly the overall quality will be very similar. It is simply very difficult to eat badly in Istanbul and I see very little price/quality relationship within each category.

For seafood lovers lufer(not lufte) is a must. There are smaller versions of this fish which is unique to Bosphorous and called sarikanat and cinekop. They are also quite good. A line caught lufer is the best, check the marks(holes) on the cheek. IMO it is one of the 5 or so most flavorful fish of the world.

Beware of seabass or dorada(called levrek and cipura) if you are not with somebody who is Turkish AND seafood expert AND is a client of the restaurant. You will be served fresh but farm raised fish which is not nearly as good as the wild one.

The so called red mullet that is barbunya(triglia, rouget barbet) can also be superb if it is rock rather than sand variety. They often serve tekir(rouget) calling it barbunya(rouget barbet).

Most of the calamari is imported and frozen. There is fresh cuttlefish(seppia) but restaurateurs eat it themselves and say that clients do not like the look of it. Fresh gambas can be excellent but again chances are that they will give them to best clients.

Among kebap places Develi is one of the 7 or 8 best and the kebap you eat in Turkey will be very different and way superiour to the mediocre stuff which is called kebap in the US. Try Kasibeyaz near the airport for the special doner kebap. It is only served for dinner and they tend to run out around 10 PM or so.

For classic vegetables and top quality lamb BEYTI in Florya is a must. Order the lamb shoulder for 2. But everything there is top notch.

If the weather allows to eat outside and if you want a tete a tete dinner opt for Korfez in Kanlica. They have a private boat from Rumelihisari too. You will spend about $100 per head but dine with foreign dignitaries and chic ladies from the upper crust. It is a seafood restaurant with a little more creative dishes than others.

I am impressed that the reporter tried and apparently liked raki. It took me 15 years to get my wife share this particular passion of mine. I think the reporter was too generous though with the merlot. Sarafin makes a merlot but at best it is average. Red wine in Turkey is just OK. But there is more than acceptable white wine. Sarafin makes good sauvignon blanc and chardonnay and they retail about $20.

For the ultimate Istanbul experience though you got to go to Reina or Leila :smile:

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Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I'm just finishing up a report on the recently held Mediterranean-themed World of Foods Conference held at the CIA in Napa.

The hands-down favorite of literally hundreds of offerings was a chef from Istanbul, Musa Dagdeviren from the restaurant Civa. We were told he has quite a following there.

Based on his cooking alone, I am ready to head to Turkey.

My report on the conference, with pictures, should be posted by the end of the week.

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Instead of doing a day-by-day, step-by-step report

I'm just going to touch upon some highlights of my Istanbul trip:

Asitane menu highlights:

"...Ottoman Heritage - Delicacies from the Palace

Ottoman cuisine is a buried treasure. The heritage of a great

empire which lasted for 700 years. A synthesis of Central Asian,

Anatolian , and European flavors. Deeply influenced by the culinary

cultures of the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, and Greece. Unfortunately

very few recipes from this rich cuisine survived due to a tradition which

demanded that cooks guilds keep their recipes and cooking techniques secret.

Here at Asitane, we have made it our mission to reintroduce Ottoman

cooking to the world. Since 1990, a dedicated staff have hunted down

lost tastes with academic zeal. We consulted a variety of sources, including

the budget ledgers of the three main palace kitchens – Topkapi, Edirne and

Dolmabahçe- and the memoirs of foreign diplomats or visitors to try and

recreate authentic Ottoman cuisine..."

White Bean Paste

White beans mashed with cinnamon and lemon juice, served with fresh herbs.

7.000.000 TL

Special Humus

Ground chickpeas with lemon juice, cinnamon,black currants and pine nuts.

7.000.000 TL

Vine leaves stuffed with a blend of sour cherries, rice, onions and pine nuts,

cooked lightly in olive oil. Seasoned with black pepper and cinnamon.

8.000.000 TL

Grilled Circassian Cheese with Oyster Mushrooms.

12.000.000 TL

Aubergine with Cheese

Fried aubergine slices with “Gönen” cottage cheese.

8.000.000 TL

Almond Soup

A light almond broth flavoured with grated coconut.

6.000.000 TL

Fresh Fish en Papillote

Choice fillet of sea bass or umbrina wrapped in

parchment and slow baked.

24.000.000 TL

Asitane Wrap

Baked aubergines mixed with grilled mince meat, tomatoes, and

green peppers, wrapped in a sheet of pasta and served with peppermint sauce.

14.000.000 TL

Date Shaped Meat Kebab

Mince meat of lambs seasoned with cinnamon, cardamom, anise and spearmint.

14.000.000 TL

Stuffed Melon

Cored melon stuffed with mincemeat, rice, herbs, almonds, currants

and pistachio nuts and baked.

16.000.000 TL

Quail with Aubergine

Baked and boned quail stuffed in a whole aubergin, baked

and served with a sweet basil sauce.

20.000.000 TL


Diced lamb with shallots, dried apricot, red raisins,vinegar, honey

and almonds baked slowly in an earthenware casserole known as "guvech".

16.000.000 TL

Finger-shaped pastries in heavy grape syrup.

6.000.000 TL

Morello Cherry Sweet

Toasted bread soaked with morello cherry syrup and topped with cream.

6.000.000 TL

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Here are the menus for Tugra - while the quality and the service was very good, something about the room just didn't work for me. Maybe it would be better during the day when you can really see the Bosphorus and the sunlight floods the enormus rooms.


Sea bass, dorado and grouper cold stew prepared with Ottoman

style garnishes, Served with carrots, potato and pickled onions

Ottoman chicken soup,

Seasoned with plain yoghurt and leek

Beef mixed with pistachios and raisins “Börek”,

Served with cucumber and yoghurt sauce

Pan-fried “lor” cheese

Sauteed with black olives and char-coaled red bell pepper

Ottoman style braised lamb with dried plum and apricot,

Served with pilaf rice

“sakiye” pudding

Served with lime sorbet and sour cherry sauce

Tea, coffee and Petit four

89m TL



Grilled artichoke

Mixed with garden arugula and blackened shrimp,

Served with gingered extra virgin olive oil and lemon sauce

21m TL

Ottoman style “Börek” plate

With “Vertika”, puff and “Su Börek”

19m TL

Oven-baked anchovy with rice pilaf served with sorrel salad

22m TL

Char-coaled eggplant

With vegetable confit, hummus and crispy pita bread

17m TL

Cold mezzes “Tugra” style

20m TL

Hot mezzes “Tugra” style

21m TL

Chef’s trio of seasonal vegetables cooked in olive oil

16m TL


Ancient “Tire” style grilled meatballs

With “Harise-Ke_kek” wheat & meat purée,

char-coaled tomato and green pepper

34m TL

Traditional “Tike” kebab,

With cracked wheat pilaf and grilled vegetable

36m TL

Oven-cooked fillet of sole in a cream mussel sauce

With sauteéd Anatolian herbs and saffron pilaf rice

33m TL

“Çentik” kebab

Grilled loin of lamb, meatballs and chicken breast pieces

On crispy matchstick potatoes

With yoghurt and spicy chili butter sauce

35m TL

Blue fish cooked on char-coal

With stewed potatoes, red onion relish and rocket leaves

38m TL



Chickpea and wheat “Toyga” soup

17m TL

Shrimp and “Teke” octopus salad with lemon sauce

22m TL

Spinach and cheese “Piruhi Börek”

With oven-baked tomato sauce, drained yoghurt and chili butter sauce

19m TL

Grilled calamari,

Served with spices, marinated “Kalamata” olives and tomatoes

22m TL

Ottoman style vine leaves embedded with air-dried beef

Served with tomato sauce

19m TL


Grilled loin of lamb with rosemary,

Served with eggplant purée, minted onion salad and

“Firik” style smoked cracked wheat pilaf

36m TL

Baked breast of chicken “Topkapi” stuffed with oriental rice pilaf,

Spinach “Timbale” and cream saffron sauce

34m TL

Young veal “Kapama” flavoured with mastic

Served with Swiss chard, romaine lettuce and fresh spices

39m TL

Sea bass “Külbasti”,

Served with eggplant “Dizme”, baby potatoes and a red pepper relish

39m TL

Meat stuffed air dried eggplant and red bell pepper

With sour pomegranate sauce

27m TL


Assorted Turkish cheese plate with traditional garnishes

24m TL

“Elmasiye” strawberry jelly,

Served with crispy cinnamon “Baklava” dough,

thick cream and mastic ice-cream

Crispy pumpkin confit “Nouvelle”

Served with clotted cream ice-cream

TuGra style semolina halva “Nouvelle”

Served with cinnamon ice-cream

A Trio of Turkish desserts:

Oven-browned rice pudding with mastic,

Palace style “Baklava” and “Elmasiye” strawberry jelly

Palace style light pudding,

Served with fresh strawberries and rose water

“Mara_” style selection of Turkish ice creams

Flavoured with mastic, black mulberry and chocolate

17m TL per item

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Unfortunately Turkey has not yet entered the stage when chefs start to become celebrities. If this happens, given the quality of ingredients and individual wealth, Istanbul may become a gourmet destination. Would you please tell us what Musa Dagdeviren cooked? I had never heard of restaurant Civa actually so I was puzzled.

Tugra used to be special with a German chef who was obssessed about Ottoman cooking and a manager, called Vedat Basaran. Now it is merely good with a different management and chef. Vedat Basaran opened restaurant Feriye nearby and it has a lovely setting by the sea. The food is better than Tugra today but a tad below the old Tugra of the late 80s.

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marktynernyc, I simply want to express my appreciation for your taking the time to share such a wonderful and detailed report. I wish it had existed before I visited Turkey two and a half years ago. How did you select the restaurants you did? I went to some of the ones you mentioned, but others not. Between you and vmilor, eGullet scores again.

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Sorry for posting so sporadically - will try to finish up this week.....

Turkish Shave

I purposely did not shave for a week because I had read numerous postings

about getting a Turkish shave. On the day of my arrival I went to a barber near

the Cemberlitas baths, Kuafor Salonu. I was treated to a double shave with a

straight razor, my nose hairs and ear hairs trimmed (ear hairs then singed),

eyebrows trimmed, a shoulder and upper back massage, my neck adjusted

and various creams and lotions applied to my face - all for 5.000.000 TL.

To say the least - my shaving cream and razors remained in my toiletry bag

the entire trip. It was a great way to start off each morning.

Cemberlitas baths


A bath and massage cost 25.000.000 TL. A turkish friend here in NYC told

me to tell the massage attendant - 'tallah'. On my first visit - my attendant

proceeded to scrub me down like Karen Silkwood and turn me into a pretzel -

cracking my back, my neck. On my third visit - an older man was my massage

attendant. I wasn't really expecting a pummeling as the previous two visits -

however the attendant motioned for me to lay on my stomach on the marble slab,

stepped up and onto my back and proceeded to shimmy back and forth along

my spine until I capitulated. I would also recommend going early - I had the

bath to myself one morning - a majority of the attendants were asleep, the

dripping water echoed within the bath - there was something wonderfully

peaceful staring up at the dome in solitude. The best method for tipping seems

to be at the end of the session after you have dressed - just find your massage

attendant as you leave, most likely he'll find you. My belongings were securely

locked in my changing room - no problems at all. Just around the corner you

can get freshly squeezed orange juice for 1.500.000 TL.

The Bosphorus ferry

The ferry leaves at 10:35 am - get there around 10 to buy your ticket.

Round trip is 6.600.000, one way is 3.300.000. You may be approached

by people trying to steer you towards their boats - just ignore them and

find Pier 3. To view the European side first, I recommend the back of the

boat on the left hand side (when facing the bow of the ship). If you sit in

the same place you'll see the Asian side on your return. As we waited to

leave we watched numerous ships and ferries go by. i was amazed at

how the ferries docked so quickly and so closely to each other. The Golden

Horn and the Bosphorus look amazingly clean (compared to the Hudson

and East rivers here in NYC) - I even saw huge jelly fish. I was surprised

at how fast the ferry goes. Also - the ferry docks for about 2 minutes at

each ferry stop - so if you're getting off at Beskitas, don't dwaddle because

they won't wait. It was nice to see how the city peeled away to the green

shores of the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus is huge. The 10:35 ferry stops at

Andalou Kavagi around noon and doesn't leave until 3 pm. We walked up

to the Genose Castle (actually Byzantine) - from there you can see the Black

Sea and the numerous ships waiting to enter the Bosphorus. There are

numerous restaurants in Kavagoi Andalou - see restaurant review. Once

again - the trip back was swift. I can see why this is such a popular weekend

activity. There are mini boats at the ferry stops that will take you to

the opposite shore - 1.000.000 TL.


Tourists pay 10.000.000, Turkishs pay 4.000.000. My Turkish

friend and I did the Selamlik tour. The grounds are beautiful -

the palace's interior is constructed off wood. Tours start about

every 15 minutes - or until there are 20 people. There are guides who

speak English. The Sultan really liked chandeliers - the woodwork,

is quite impressive. The Victory room is stunning. The Sultan's

hamam is included with this tour. The hamam is all alabaster - very beautiful.

The harem tour is a separate ticket. After the tour my friend and I walked

around the grounds then went to Mavi Balik for lunch.

St. Chora

The mosaics and the frescos in the church are beautiful. Admission is

10.000.000 TL. A guide approached us and offered his services - 25.000.000 TL

for about a 45 minute tour of the mosaics, frescos and history of the church - very

informative. The restaurant, Asitane, is located right next to St. Chora.

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Sorry for posting so sporadically - will try to finish up this week.....

Turkish Shave

This is certainly no reason to apologize. This is a remarkable thread so far. I'm only disappointed to learn that I would have to give up my beard of some forty odd years to fully appreciate Turkey.

Carry on, and thanks also to Vilmor for his additions to the thread. I'm not sure however, that anyone but the chefs will be better off if the chefs become celebrities.

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Sultanahmet Sarayi

Torun Sok, No. 19, Sultanahmet


This boutique hotel is located next to (right behind) the Blue Mosque. It has a garden

with fruit trees and fountain, a restaurant and a restaurant with a view of the Marmara Sea.

I had made reservations ($100 US for 6 nights, one additional night free) months in

advance asking for a room with a view of the Blue Mosque only to be told right before I

left NYC that I was being upgrade to a deluxe room with a partial view of the Marmara Sea.

(After the ïroom with a view of a wall' fiasco at the Palace Hotel in Hvar I immediately wrote

back the hotel asking for further explanation) The room looked over a parking lot and if I leaned

out the window I had a full view of the Marmara Sea - to say the least I was not happy, especially

being that I was celebrating my 40th. I was told they would move me but couldn't until Monday

being that the hotel was fully booked. I'm guessing they were able to charge someone else

more for the room they had promised me. The room was nicely furnished - the bathroom is a

smaller version of a hamam - an interesting and atmospheric touch. Complimentary fruit basket

and bottle of wine. Of course I wasn't able to fully unpack and get settled. In retrospect a room with

a view of the Blue Mosque was superfluous because each morning as I left the hotel the Blue

Mosque was right in front of me - which really makes this a wonderful location. I was offered any

room and decided a room with a view of the Marmara Sea and terrace would be preferred. They moved

my belongings on Monday while I was doing the Bosphorus ferry. The room was great but the

bathroom/hamam was tiny. I was able to sit on the terrace in the morning and watch the oil tankers

and cruise ships enter/leave the Bosphorus. And the sun rises were beautiful - the misty blue grey

Bosphorus, the sea gulls cries. The staff was at times very helpful but most of the time seemed coolly

indifferent unlike the staff at the Four Seasons where my friends were staying (of course, if I was paying

what they were paying.....) But such things as only having one flower vase available seemed to reflect a

lack of attention to detail or foresight. I wanted to like this hotel but...it's in a great location and having a

terrace overlooking the Marmara Sea was really nice but still.... if you do stay here request one of the

following 8 rooms: private balcony+view of Marmara sea, deluxe: 111, 110, 109; view of Blue Mosque:

deluxe: 101, 120, 119; standard: 201, 216. Email the hotel directly for a quote on rates. (One other

incident which I'm hesitant to discuss but think important - after clubbing one night and meeting someone,

whom I invited back to the hotel - I was told at the desk I could not have overnight guests - not sure if

it would have been different if my friend had been female - I explained to the desk clerk that the general

manager could speak with me tomorrow morning but my friend and I were going to sleep - I have never

encountered such a policy at any of the hotels I have stayed at - in defense of the hotel they may have

been concerned for my safety and their hotel guests, I don't know - and no, the hotel manager did

not speak with me the next day) :blink:

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul

Tevkifhane Sok. No. 1, Sultanahmet

My friends stayed here (which was short distance from my hotel) and it is no wonder why

this hotel has received so many awards. The service and attention to detail is impeccable. The

staff is attentive and professional - cordial without being stiff or overly sweet. My friends had a suite

with 1 1/2 baths and a view of the interior garden. On numerous occassions they returned to their

room to find complimentary bottles of wines, petite fours, their clothes folded, etc, etc Large umbrellas

available at the front in case of rain show the thoughtfulness this hotel has for their guests. Of course

paying what my friends were paying - one should expect such service. I'm glad my friends decided

to stay at the Four Seasons.

Regarding hotel location - I'm glad I chose to stay in the Sultanahmet area for my first visit to Istanbul -

everything is with in walking distance. I picked up a couple brochures of other hotels in the area and

will post. I had read some posts recommending staying in Taksim, Beyoglu or up on the Bosphorus.

I do wish I had stayed a few days at a hotel somewhere in one of the "villages" along the Bosphorus -

just to relax and kick back.

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Unfortunately Turkey has not yet entered the stage when chefs start to become celebrities. If this happens, given the quality of ingredients and individual wealth, Istanbul may become a gourmet destination. Would you please tell us what Musa Dagdeviren cooked? I had never heard of restaurant Civa actually so I was puzzled.

Ciya is located at Kadikoy, Caferaga, Guneslibahce Street, No: 43 (if that is correct).

Some of the names of what Musa prepared don't mean much to me - other than I LOVED it. He served the following:

Sogan Kebabs

Figs with Milk

Kilis Kebap

Hidden Pilav

Batata Harra



Karga Beyni


There was also a drink of Pekmez and herbs into which something ground-up was stirred in (pinenuts?). It made it pasty but was so warm and spicy and good.

Also, there was a dessert that was somewhat explained to me - these large, flat, dry thin white disks (18 inches in diameter) were soaked until maleable and served like a lasagne, with pomegranate seeds and delectable liquids (yogurt?).

I just know that I've got a lot to learn about this area of the world and need to find some books to get started.

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Sorry for posting so sporadically  - will try to finish up this week.....

Turkish Shave

This is certainly no reason to apologize. This is a remarkable thread so far. I'm only disappointed to learn that I would have to give up my beard of some forty odd years to fully appreciate Turkey.

You SHOULD give up your beard in Turkey Bux. With the beard you will be mistaken either as a religious bigot(bad) or a leftist intellectual(good but dangerous in the current climate).

I know there is no politics allowed but I could not help it after a most zesty lunch with bellota jamon(from jabugo) and galician style scallops(special really) and pulpo gallega and bacalao pil pil. Now I am looking forward to churrasco and suckling pig and becada asado en salmis for dinner at or around 11 PM!

Guess where I am?

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You SHOULD give up your beard in Turkey Bux. With the beard you will be mistaken either as a religious bigot(bad) or a leftist intellectual(good but dangerous in the current climate).

eGullet could be a source of life saving advice, not just tips on restaurants. In Paris I was mistaken for an intellectual because of my velours pants (actually corduroy in English). I was asked if I was a professor. When I responded "sculptor," I was told that was a justifiable excuse as well.

Oh well, I actually don't have immediate plans for a trip to Turkey, but I will store this information.

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 1 year later...
Down on the waterfront you will see fishermen selling grilled mackerel and other fish from their boats.  It's great!
After spending an afternoon in Istanbul's sense-dazzling Spice Bazaar, walk to the banks of the Bosphorus for BALIK EKMEK - literally fish bread - served fresh from a smoking grill on a bobbing boat moored at the mouth of the Golden Horn. Fisherman catch bonito or mackerel in the straits, filet and grill them, then toss them into quarter loaves of bread with thick slices of raw onion and tomato - all for a mere 1.5 million Turkish lira. That's an incredible one-buck meal.

from Saveur Magazine Jan/Feb 2005

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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My 2 best meals in IST were lunch at Pandeli , upstairs from the Spice Market where I had a chicken dish with walnuts and yogurt and dinner one night in the Intercontinental hotel terrace where one selected mezze from a huge display and then selected a skewer of meat that was grilled before your eyes. A wonderful relaxed and romantic dinner.

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  • 1 month later...
OK, OK, I guess I've been swamped with other stuff, so I have not been

able to write about my IST trip  :sad:  Anyday Now, Anyday ....... :wink:

BTW, only 3% of .TR is in Europe, their Capital, Ankara is in Asia ---

But their soul wants to be European  :smile:

I think that their economy wants to be European. :wink:

I think of Turkey as more of a Middle-Eastern country in terms of cooking. But then again Greek cooking is like this also.

It's been almost three years now. Will we ever hear of this trip? :smile:

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  • 6 months later...

Don't know if anyone is still following this thread, but I'd add Çiya in Kadiköy to the restaurants to visit. It specializes in Antep food of the southeast. (Çiya is the Kurdish word for 'mountain.' The very fact that they can name a restaurant that now says a lot about how far things have come here in the last decade.

One thing I would *not* agree with is the bit about the balık ekmek. That fish is *not* caught in the Bosphorus, or anywhere in Turkey for that matter, it's plain old frozen fish imported from Scandinavia, kept around for God knows how long, fried in old oil; and I think it's positively foul....!

On the other hand, fish season is just starting here now; palamut (bonito) is plentiful and cheap this year. Lüfer (bluefish) is also coming on. This fish is considered "trash" fish in the US as far as I know; and in Greece, it's a `B-grade` fish, but when it first enters the Bosphorus from the Black Sea, it is fatted up and wonderful. Istanbul is the place to eat it.

A fun little place that's cheap but does their fish nicely is right behind the fish market in Karaköy. As you come across the Galata bridge from the old city, you will see a fresh fish market on the left. Go to the very end, and turn right; you'll see tables out on the grass. Try their palamut. 4 lira for half of a quite substantial fish, and very fresh.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I just returned from Turkey Oct. 1- was in Istanbul 5 days, Izmir, then on gulet boat from Marmaris to Antalya for 12 days. The palamut(bonito), sea bream, red mullet, and sea bass were all very good. I very much enjoyed staying in the Sultanamet district (Arcadia hotel on hill overlooking the Blue Mosque). I enjoyed walking in the Begolu district but I would not want to stay there.

Some restaurants we would recommend:

Daruzziyafe for lunch outdoors near the Sulimaniye Mosque- traditional Turkish food in peaceful courtyard

Fishmekan along the Bosporus, Arnavutkoy Cadddesi 60- upscale local fish restaurant beyond the Bosporus bridge-get there by cab.

Yesil Ev Kabasakal Cad. No. 5 near Blue Mosque-traditional Turkish food for lunch and dinner- when we ate lunch outside there next to the classic marble fountain, they were playing Piazzola argentinian Tango music on their sound system- when the call to prayer resounded from the mosques on both sides of the garden, alternating with the tango music, you really felt you were someplace unique!!

Outdoor cafe Konyali in the Topkapi Palace overlooking the water

Aleko'Nun Yeri Deniz Park Restaurant, Daire Sokak No. 9 Yenikoy(along the Bosporus, half way to the Black sea- we got there by way of a cruise along the Bosporus) best fish-good view of all the tankers and mysterious fast speedboats heading to and from the Black Sea

Bahce Restaurant, Anit Mezar Karsisi No. 31, Antalya-excellent food, specializing in grilled meats and mezzes from eastern interior Turkey- plus an atmosphere reminding me of Rick's place from the movie Casablanca, only this restaurant was outdoors

We went to Hamdi near the Spice market in Istanbul- food was good but we didn't have a reservation and they didn't seem very welcoming. We had difficulty ordering and explaining some allergies my husband had. Probably would have been better going with someone who spoke Turkish

Most exciting atmosphere- the Kumkapi district-several blocks of outdoor restaurants specializing in fish-strolling Turkish musicians, lots of festive lights,people walking by selling all sorts of things, lots of Istanbul locals. Excellent small shrimp and sardines for mezzes.

Some interesting desserts we had- candied quince with vanilla ice cream; baked pumpkin with whipped cream and chopped walnuts.

Loved Turkey!!


Edited by rshorens (log)
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