My first evening I didn’t want to travel too fare for my dinner and I didn’t want to eat at the restaurants around the corner that was packed of tourists – so once again TripAdvisor pointed me the right direction.
Mr cook Cafe & Restaurant
Alemdar Mahallesi, Mollafenari Sokak, No 39,
Phone; 212 522 4846
Turkish & European – $ (no website) – link to TripAdvisor
4 min walk from the hotel, but it took about 15 min because I had done the map in direction from the restaurant to the hotel, so I was lost straight away and nobody I asked had ever heard about the restaurant … in the end a lady that stood outside a hotel helped me out, she went on Google, got their phone number and phoned them and they were only 2 min walk away. How could I get Lost????!!! when it was only 4 min away from the hotel!!!!! It’s all about how we read the map.
The restaurant wasn’t very busy … at the time, was there about 8pm. 6 tables maybe – most of the outdoors was taken. I got a table inside with the doors open against the street. It was a lovely evening but the air was a bit chilly. A nice place away from the tourist herds on a quite street.
Nothing fancy, just good home cooking and loads of heart. Family business with two brothers in the kitchen and two in the dinning room.
One of the brothers is the true charmer – what an entertainer – talk a bit of French, Italian, German, Spanish and very good Englishm, but no Swedish. His name is Faysal.
The restaurant have free and excellent Wi-Fi too.
I have been trying ordering Testi kebab every time I been in Istanbul, but it’s only served for 2 people. Mr Cook have it on their menu and when I asked about it – I was told that because I was such lovely and beautiful lady they will make it for one person specially for me. No other restaurant has offered me that.
So soon I sat down I got what I think they call Lavash (Lava) bread – blown up like a football and served with tapenade. Also called puff bread by us silly tourists. Love it.
Testi Kebab is a mixture of lamb, mushroom, tomato and local herbs and spices, cooked in a sealed clay pot and when serving the pot is cracked with a metal stick … should be a sword what I understand. Very impressive when it’s served … all on fire.
You image the smell when the pot cracks open from all that good stuff inside. It’s was so good as it looked.
Next to me sat two girls from Netherlands, that was going home the next day. They had eaten at Mr Cook a couple of times during their stay.
They serve pizza, Turkish specialties, pasta, salads and grilled meats. Also they have a great breakfast menu.
More guests was dropping in all the time.
I didn’t have a starter, but I had a Vodka & Tonic and with the lamb stew I had a big glass of red wine … and chocolate souffle as dessert with a great cappuccino. And my bill came to 92TRY/$34/£22/€30/280SEK
It must have been just after 11pm when I left the restaurant and guests had just be seated.
When I came back for lunch on my last day I had a grilled chicken salad that was very fresh and crispy. I also could check in to my flight the following day while having lunch, because of the wi-fi. Sat outside in the lovely sunshine and life was at it’s best. Had a dessert, can’t remember what I had … but it must have tasted good, because it disappeared straight away.
There wasn’t any locals guests at the restaurant at all, at least not when I was there.
Mr cook Cafe & Restaurant is rated as #2 out of 11.124 restaurants in Istanbul. Rated by ordinary people, like me. That is saying something. It’s a fun place and very relaxing . It’s not a gourmet restaurant, it’s a genuine place with great food.
And with charming Faysal telling me how beautiful I’m a couple of times … who can resist??? Not me. That is just for show, but it’s done in a very nice way. He knows exactly how to take care of his guests, men and women. If I had a restaurant he would had a job with me.
I will go back next time I visit Istanbul, because I felt at home there and we (the guests) had a really good time. Before I left after my lunch, Faysal and I had a very intense Swedish lesson and he picked up the most important phrases.
I dedicated this song to Faysal … because it’s about “Mr Right”!
Välkommen tillbaka – Welcome back – Tekrar Hoşgeldiniz!
“Charm is a product of the unexpected.”