Oz Café, on Akbiyik Caddesi, across from the Metropolis Café and neighbor of Albura Kathisma, Istanbul, Turkey, July and August 2011.
On one of our first nights in Istanbul, strolling through the very touristy hood of Sultanahmet, we tried to find a typical not too westernized version of a turkish restaurant with an affordable price tag. We quickly fell to the charm of this place, a quiet force, sitting in the middle of this uber-busy walking street loaded with dining options. The Turks may not be as aggressive as the Moroccans when it comes to attract you into their business, but still, in certain parts of the city, as in the Galata Bridge and this area, they don’t let you pass by without a shout. I guess that’s what we liked here. The person trying to sell the restaurant was discreet, almost shy. Okay you’re saying to yourself. Maybe this place is so good that they don’t need to push it in your face.
I had the iskender, a tasty meat dish from Bursa, consisting of thinly cut grilled lamb, tomato sauce, melted sheep butter, yogurt and pita. YU-MMY! After a couple of drinks on the house with the young and dynamic owner, we promised him to come back at the end of our trip, after what was gonna be three weeks of delicious food, beaches and nauseating bus rides through Turkey.
We kept our promise and came back, and as a ceremonious testament to the life-changing trip we just had, we ordered the same thing. And guess what, it was as good as the first time!
A must for whomever gets the chance to make it there!