Istanbul means great food … and great wines. A very exciting city when it comes to food and I try to find new food adventures every time I’m visiting. I’m checking for new places with great reviews – not often that I turn to Tripadvisor when it comes to Istanbul.
Mr Cook Cafe Restaurant
Alemdar Mh., 34110 Fatih/İstanbul
phone; 0212 512 92 04
Turkish and steaks
Have my own little special gem not far from the hotel that I always try to delight myself at a couple of time every visit, Mr Cook. Have become very close friend with its owner, Faysal … a true charmer. This restaurant is in Sultanahmet close to the Grand Bazar and all the other main attractions, an area that is living only tourism and his other so busy place were totally dead, he struggles big time and he is thinking of throwing in the towel if things don’t change early next year. The banks are not helping out anymore neither.
My first evening I rushed for having a meal with him .. and I also had lunch my last day there. Standard is still there and everything cooked a la minute … fantastic, for dinner I had his excellent lamb stew and for my lunch a fabulous chicken salad. It was terrible to see how down and worried Faysal are those days. I hope with all my heart that he will ride it out.
He said – Viveka, what will I do … if I close … this has been my life for so many years.
I also became stood up by one restaurant, but that adventure will get its own space. Happens also to the BEST!!!
One of my evenings I just walked around the corner to a nearby hotel that has good reviews – I had a feeling that something was going on in my body … a cold! So I didn’t want to eat too far away from my comfortable bed at “Aybar Hotel”. Even this restaurant was empty. Only another table and me.
Lekker & Cafe Restaurant
Alemdar Mahallesi, Catalcesme Sokak No: 7 | Sultanahmet/Fatih,
“LEKKER”, a Danish name, on a restaurant in Istanbul with not one Danish dish on the menu. WELL DONE! “Lekker” means “Delicious” Located in a small boutique hotel, Antusa Palace Hotel. My “friend” for the evening was Pavlo … a great young man that loves soccer and wants a Scandinavian girlfriend, but he said he didn’t have the right height for them. *smile
Had a wonderful starter of filled grape leaves .. so fresh presented. For my main …. my Turkish favourite, Testi Kebabı. Slowly cooked lamb with vegetables in a clay jar. Not very often served in single portion, but Lekker did, so I just had to have it. Pavlo got good fire underneath the jar. He informed me he is the BEST in Istanbul with Testi Testi Kebabı.
But he messed up a little my pre-dinner drink, wanted vodka & tonic and he gave me gin & tonic, which I drink too. So no damage was done, but he made up for it with his charm and wonderful personality. Plus I got 2 warm Baklava with my cappuccino. A dessert that is really a bit too sweet for my taste buds, but I enjoyed both of them and I was perfectly okay afterwards. So “Lekker” carry its name with proudness. Such a pity that there are no guests around.
Well Done by Midpoint Restaurant (no website)
Tünel Geçidi Sokak, No 1/D,
phone; 0212 2514338
Hamburgers and international – €€-€€€
No Turkish kitchen near this places, but if you want a good meal in a lively part of Istanbul, this is a great place to come. As well as indoor seating, they have a great outdoor area in a lively arcade with awnings and heaters. The menu is generally western, with burgers, pizzas, steaks, fajitas, etc. Good atmosphere, friendly staff and good prices. Opposite the Tünel station in Beyoğlu.
Located around a big courtyard with loads of restaurants around, but they all seems to be connected somehow. Because food was coming from all different corners of the yard. Found this place by chance because I had booked another restaurant nearby and the taxi driver couldn’t find the restaurant and he showed me the wrong direction. Ask the staff members at Well Done for direction and when I got to my booked restaurant it was closed. Stood up!! So I went back up the hill and had dinner with my helpers and I didn’t regret that choice.
Enjoyed a great hamburger and the best milkshake ever!!!! And their coleslaw was superb !!!!
It seems like there is more than one “Well done” in the city.
Bereketzade, Galata Kulesi Sk.,
phone; 0212 243 17 17
Mediterranean & Modern Turkish
Once again the taxi driver didn’t know exactly where the restaurant was, so he let me off at the Galata Tower and after walking around the tower once I asked a nice handsome man at a hotel’s front desk and he knew it was just down the hill on the right.
Situated in a nice “villa! with a big garden terrace in front and quite a large dining room. Once again an empty restaurant met me … only one other table was taken with Turkish guests. The interior was very rustic and dark. No chance of using Oscar, so I have turned to Google for help here.
Now something strange has happened … I can’t remember any of the dishes I had!!!!! And I can’t find the recipe either. First time ever I can’t recall my menu and visiting their website and checking out the menu does make me any wiser. The food was excellent and service top class. Their menu was new and they didn’t have an English translation done yet, I think that is why I can’t remember.
Now I recall I had a fantastic starter of prawns in tomato cheese sauce, it was delicious and with that, I had a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Main course blank still, took something on the recommendation from my lovely waiter. How annoying is this? Beef Ribs, it was … great Turkish Malbec to go with it .. and the final touch, sesame och pumpkin dessert with walnuts. Folks, this took some intense thinking!!! Need a break now! *smile
Back!!!! I highly recommend all 4 restaurants here, very different .. but that’s what I like about Istanbul, fantastic choices and it’s not all about kebabs.
“I’m like a menu at an expensive restaurant;
you can look at me, but you can’t afford me.”