turkish

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Babaji
53 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LB
London
United Kingdom

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Babaji is a modern Turkish restaurant in Soho. It has only been open a few weeks and already is attracting a large queue outside its door (I came here for dinner on a Saturday night and had to wait in the queue outside for more than 30 minutes to get a table, but as they had hot lamps outside to warm you up whilst you wait, it was not that bad). Babaji is the latest restaurant by Alan Yau (man that used to be behind Wagamama, and now Hakkassan, Yauatcha etc empire). As I was waiting in the queue I heard some people behind me saying that his wife is Turkish, hence the inspiration for this new restaurant, which I have since found out to be true (hence there is a Hakkasan in Istanbul).

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Develi Kebap
Etiler Mahallesi, Tepecik Yolu, No 22, Beşiktaş
Istanbul
Turkey

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Develi Kebap serves the sort of food I would like to have as my last meal. I love the typical Turkish kebab restaurant, which Develi Kebap is. Develi Kebap is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and is a very big restaurant, it is huge with many tables across the large space. I am not sure if they ever can fill this space. We came here on a Tuesday for lunch and only a few tables were occupied, but that meant we had a nice table by the window.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Sans
Haci Adil Cad. Palmiye Sokak No:1, Levent
Istanbul
Turkey

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Sans is an upscale Turkish/ Mediterranean restaurant in Istanbul in the business district of Levent, located in a historic villa. Sans opened in 1992 and in 2001 it became a member of Chaines des Rotisseurs. It is open for lunch and for dinner. Main chef is Ali Ekber Sarıgül who updates some of the menu every 2 months (bestselling dishes are always on the menu).

 

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Sunset Grill & Bar
Kuruçeşme Mh., Yol Sk No:2
Istanbul
Turkey

Sunset Grill & Bar is one of the upscale restaurants in Istanbul that is located on a hill and overlooks the Bosphorus strait, Bosphorus Bridge and Asian shoreline from above. I have been here twice and the first time I came here was during the summer when it was really warm and you could sit outside, and then it was amazing. This time I came to Istanbul and Sunset Grill & Bar during the winter months and we sat inside and whilst the view is still amazing the feeling of sitting outside in the hot weather is not there.
 

Maija rated: 

3.50

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Location: 

Haz
34 Foster Lane, St Paul's, EC2V 6HD
London
United Kingdom

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I have had food at Haz before, but only as takeaway, as at work we have sometimes ordered food from Haz on a Friday to be delivered to our office for lunch. Haz is a Turkish restaurant and the first restaurant was established in 2011, but now there are 4 restaurants (including one close to my work from where we get the takeaway). I went to Haz for lunch with my friend Deividas, as it was convenient for him, in the St Paul’s branch, close to the cathedral. Deividas sometimes comes to the Haz café which is located next to the restaurant and gets takeaway food, which according to him is also very good, but this time we went to the sit down Haz restaurant.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Mabeyin
Eski Kısıklı Caddesi No.129
Istanbul
Turkey

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Mabeyin is a great kebab restaurant on the Asian side of Istanbul, the price is very good for what you get, the food is delicious and even though I still prefer Kosebasi for kebabs, this restaurant is very similar and almost equally good. I went there for lunch and from the outside it is a white building and does not look much, but when we went inside it was almost full and the place has nice cutlery, nice napkins and is very clean. English was an issue here as most of the waiters (understandably) did not speak it, and only one person could speak some English. I tried to order some wine for my lunch buddies, but I was told there is no alcohol served in this restaurant, so in the end my lunch buddies were offered apricot juice which they decided to have but were a bit upset when they were presented with peach juice which shows the language barrier a place like this can have.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Mikla
The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Caddesi 15 34430
Istanbul
Turkey

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This is the closest to Michelin dining that I have been to in Istanbul, but not many people seem to know about it as even my Turkish colleagues were wondering what this place was when I mentioned it to them. I loved Mikla and in this restaurant you will be offered an amuse bouche, petite fours (so the usual Michelin attributes) and in between a lovely meal full of creativity and using ingredients from all over Turkey. The main chef is Mehmet Gürs, who is Swedish born, but who moved to Istanbul in 1996 and since then has become a mini celebrity and won many awards for himself, for Mikla and also written some books. Mikla opened in 2005, and it is influenced by the Turkish-Scandinavian background of Mehmet, however I only felt the Turkish influence and I did not even know there was supposed to be a Scandinavian twist to the meal until after a few days later when I started reading about this restaurant.

Maija rated: 

5.00

Location: 

Marina Balik
Vapur İskelesi Sk Beşiktaş
Istanbul
Turkey

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This is a strangish restaurant in a way. Marina Balik is a fish restaurant located on the European side of Istanbul by the Bosphorus in a wooden house and offers great views of the Bosphorus. Before you enter the wooden building there is a map that has pictures and names of various fish next to the door and once you enter you find yourself in this small room that has a glass fridge with various fresh fish displayed there. When I went there I could see a huge turbot (enough for 4 people), sea bass, sea bream, jumbo prawns and many other types of fish. We came for dinner on a Sunday night and unfortunately the place was empty and only one other table was occupied, which meant there was very little atmosphere in the restaurant and the staff were extremely quick in serving us and there was too much attention on us.

Maija rated: 

2.50

Location: 

Namli Kebap
Nispetiye Cad Gonca Sok No:3 Levent
Istanbul
Turkey

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I love Istanbul and I love Turkish food. Lately I have been thinking that if there was one type of food I could not live without and I would only like to survive on, it could easily be Turkish food. But having said that I am finding it really hard lately to differentiate between the different Turkish kebab restaurants, as they are all amazing, but serve exactly the same food. Namli kebap is like that. The food is great, I really enjoyed it (and as per usual with Turkish food consumed enough food for 3 people), but it is the same as in so many other great kebab restaurants. Namli kebap was opened in 1972 and they currently have 2 branches. When we arrived to Namli kebap as we only had 20 minutes for lunch the food was already waiting for us, and we had a mixed kebab selection with different types of meet – lamp pieces, chicken, shish kebab with tomatoes, the green pepers and also the typical Turkish flat bread.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Bridge
Nakkaştepe Yolu baba Nakkaş Sk No:62 34674 Nakkaştepe
Istanbul
Turkey

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This is another restaurant in Istanbul that offers a nice view of the Bosphorus and nice Turkish food. Bridge restaurant is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and overlooks the Bosphorus and one of the bridges. They serve Turkish food which is quite similar to the food in other nice Istanbul restaurants.

Maija rated: 

4.00

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