Oct 13 2014


Fenix is one of the trendiest new restaurants in Istanbul and when it first opened in March it was seriously difficult to get a table there. It is located on that busy street (Nispetiye Caddesi) that houses many of the best restaurants in Istanbul, including my personal favourite – the Nusret steak house. The inside of Fenix is very stylish with a cool bar, something you would expect to see in NY, and trees inside, it has a cool vibe about it. There is also an outside dining area, heated up using the heat lamps and which is where we sat, and did not feel cold at all. It is a very pretty place.

The menu is mainly Asian and International with a few things from the Turkish cuisine. My friend Ates ordered all the starters for us to share and he ordered fried squid (the sort of crispy squid you get in Asian restaurants), shrimp popcorn, or the sort of deep fried shrimp, that is very famous at Nobu, Japanese gyozas and Vietnamese spring rolls and we shared the food. My main criticism of all these dishes is the batter. It almost felt like they could not do the outside of the gyoza or the outside of the Vietnamese spring rolls, and the deep frying of shrimps and squid, the outside element of all these ingredients was a bit too thick and just tasted not like it should have, for every single one of these dishes. It definitely felt like homemade, or made locally, but the consistency was a bit off, not too noticeable but I did notice. The inside though was better in my view than a lot of the Asian restaurants make it, the squid was delicious, prawns lovely and the vegetables in the gyozas and spring rolls seemed local and delicious and much better than you get in an average Asian restaurant, very very good. So there is a dilemma here – outside (batter part) was worse but inside (fish and vegetables) better.

I did not want to eat too much as I had had a huge lunch so I ordered their Thai spicy salad with prawns as a main course, it tasted authentic with all the right elements in it, and right sort of spicy. My friend Dimitri ordered a pasta dish with artichokes and duck and he found the artichokes in the pasta a bit strange and we discussed how Turkish people love artichokes and do add them to many dishes. Ates and Robert ordered a meat dish, which does not come out too well in the pictures.

The best thing for me at Fenix though were the desserts, they were amazing. Ates suggested we order the macaroon (they used to have strawberry not now it is raspberry) so we ordered that and it was big, much bigger than the small macaroons you usually get and absolutely delicious. We also ordered a chocolate cake sort of dessert which had a very deep and strong flavour, interesting, and a cake made of baklava pastry and crème which was to die for, a seriously good dessert.

I did very much like Fenix, the atmosphere, but they can improve on how they make their Asian dishes, they can make them even more authentic. But it is a very nice and fun place with a modern feel to it.

Date: 13/ 10/ 14
Location: Istanbul
Price for 5 people: I don’t know

Maija rated: 




Nispetiye Caddesi, No.79
Fenix Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5