Istanbul Eats Part I


Lisa, Xing and I went on this amazing trip in Turkey last fall, we visited 6 towns/cities in 12 days; experienced different landscapes, architecture and cuisine, we were greeted with the warmest smiles, seen the most beautiful sunset, had the best laughs =) Lisa’s post on Turkey inspired me to blog about the food we ate, a lot of the pictures are from her too since our official photographer takes such gorgeous pictures

Turkey’s unique heritage of having been under Roman, Christian, Ottoman empire and its strategic location straddling Asia and Europe; being the melting pot of different culture and religion gave rise to the diversity in architecture and cuisines. When people think about Turkish food, they think of kebab, yes there are kebab everywhere but there’s also a lot more to Turkish cuisine than kebab. The cities/ towns along the coast serves up some of the most incredibly fresh seafood and the use of olive, spice, herbs varies depending on the region you are in.

I’ve sent this list out about a thousand times after my trip so its good to have it documented finally:


Best Dining Experience- Matbah Ottoman Palace Cuisine

As its name suggests, Matbah serves delectable dishes from Matbah Beray (Kitchen of Sultan’s Palace); a feast fit for royalty. Food was delicate and well thought out, I would recommend the sailor cheese, honeydew melon with chopped beef, white and black pepper,raisins,almonds and rice and the lamb shank! If weather allows, I would ask for a table on the rooftop garden, excellent service and the environment inviting and comfortable; we had a great time that night.

Add: Caferiye Sokak No. 6/1, Sultanahmet 34400 Istanbul

T: +90 212 514 6151


Best View-  Hamdi Restaurant. It’s not the best kebab I must admit but food is decent and this is the view you get


You can watch the sky changes from azure to orange, red and pink to purple to dark blue as you take in all the delightful mezes and kebab. The restaurant is right at the harbor front overlooking the Galata Bridge, with the Spice market being just 5 minutes away. We went there twice that trip as Lisa’s camera ran out of battery the first time we were there. Make sure you book a table on the top floor by the window as the restaurant is very popular. I had the pistachio kebab, the pistachio bits added a rich, nutty flavor to the already flavorful lamb kebabs, they brought us a few mezes to choose from while we were waiting for our mains and those were very tasty as well. We wanted to try the little lahmacun which is the Turkish version of thin crust pizza but it was unavailable =( all in all I think it was a good dining experience as service was great, food was decent, it’s in a great location and the view was fantastic


Add: Tahmis Cad KalcIn Sok No.17 Eminonu, Istanbul, Turkey (on the open square to the right of the Spice Bazaar)

T: (212) 528-0390

More on the next post 😉


6 thoughts on “Istanbul Eats Part I

  1. Oh man! I can’t wait to visit Turkey! I hear it’s a great place for couples to go but I sort of just want to bring only me and my camera. LOL. #loner

    The spice market sounds interesting! Love all the food. Wiping drool off my face now. Viv! Can’t wait for Part 2! (3? 4?) 😉

    • Turkey is amazing, you won’t regret it! It’s not just great for couples, there’s something for everyone, be it great food, breath-taking landscape, warmest hospitality, beach/ turquoise water, historic stuff like ruins and mosaic churches/ mosques, there are so much more!! i wanna go back already :p haha
      Part II is coming up!!! 😉

  2. Lola says:

    So happy you liked Matbah!! It was my fave meal in the city 🙂 Really want to go back and try more places!

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