Popular Places / January 2019 / Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the first cities to spring to mind when it comes to food and travel. Savoring tasty dishes of world cuisine while enjoying rich local food culture, makes it an unforgettable city of gastronomy. Istanbul presents unique experiences in gastronomy, blending cultural heritage of many civilizations with a modern-times gusto.

GLENS

Glens restaurant elegantly welcomes you at the heart of Nişantaşı. Yet, it won’t overwhelm you with an urge to behave like someone other than your usual self. The interior design is easy on the eyes and carries no aristocratic hints. Decorations, such as potted plants, high-quality wooden chairs and contemporary works of art, have been selected with fine taste as opposed to flamboyance. High ceilings are the main reason for the soothing feeling of spaciousness and comfort. The biggest advantage of Glens is that you are set in a good mood while the sense of openness reflects upon you. The space is divided into two, with long curtains that hang down from the ceiling, and the tables at the back have a classic look with white covers. The glass covered lounge, however, is where to feel privileged on a night when you book as a group.

You’ll also notice how aesthetics are so important at Glens when examining the menu and its minimalist design. You will have to explore every option on the menu, dominated by Mediterranean flavors, by coming back time and time again. If you like to eat Italian air-dried beef, bresaola, offered with mousse cheese-filled crispy bread, is the right choice for a starter. The ravioli has our highest recommendation on the pasta menu. Ravioli bits filled with spinach, its taste softened by ricotta cheese, come to your table with a delicious sauce prepared with sage and butter.  The pasta is cooked al dente. Other options on the pasta menu are gnocchi prepared with Genovese pesto sauce and cherry tomatoes, or risotto porcini prepared with porcini mushrooms. As for the pizzas, you can order any one of, ai frutti di mare with calamari, shrimps and clams, ai funghi misti with mixed mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, and vegetariana. Help yourself to it with your hands. Glens offers an elegant yet comfortable environment. If you want to delight in meat or fish, you may prefer tagliata di manzo served with mashed potatoes or branzino alla griglia offered with broccoli. The person responsible for all these flavors served to your table in the most ideal way

is the Italian chef Umberto Cavini who previously worked at Da Mario and the Ritz Carlton. Glens’ wide bar, where the sound of the music rises when the sun goes down, will be one of the reasons you will choose this locale. Furthermore, the bar is entrusted to the experienced bartender Cevat Yıldırım, who mastered the art of bartending in legendary venues such as Lucca and Topaz. Whether you’re drinking coffee or enjoying your meal, or spending some time at the bar before venturing out to different locations at night, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for in Glens.

SPRING STREET PIZZERIA

An Italian restaurant that can cook pizza in 90 seconds from the stone oven brought from Naples. The right choice for a quick and comfortable meal. The pizzas are Neapolitan-style, with a thin crust and thick edges. The ingredients form a juicy mixture in the middle of the pizza. Starters such as risotto balls and bruschetta are also quite successful.

DASDAS MUTFAK

DasDas Mutfak hosts many plays and live music performances and boasts a compelling selection of bread loaves. The bread varieties, from sourdough to yeast with kefir, are prepared with an 800-year-old special yeast from Slovenia. Among the starters are Swiss chard with carrots and duck with quince. Main dishes include Uzbek style dumplings and calf cheeks.

Hacı Abdullah Restaurant

The operating license of the restaurant was granted by Sultan Abdulhamit Han himself. Official and private delegations visiting Istanbul on behalf of their countries have been hosted at Abdullah Efendi’s restaurant. In 1915, Abdullah Efendi Restaurant moved from the Karaköy pier to Beyoğlu. The restaurant relocated to the first floor of “Rumeli Han” on Istiklal Caddesi. The ownership of “Abdullah Efendi” restaurant was transferred from the master to apprentice at this location. Following this and having hosted many famous Turkish and foreign guests at Rumeli Han for 25 years, in 1940, another changing of the guard between the master and apprentice took place, and the restaurant moved to a street with the former names “Bursa Sokak” and then “Ahududu Sokak” which now is called “Sadri Alışık”, at which the heart of Turkish cinema throbs, with its name effectively changing to “Hacı Salih.” The restaurant, which has never compromised its quality and still bears all the features of the Ottoman-Turkish cuisine, moved in 1958 to its present location, on “Sakızağacı Caddesi” right by the “Ağa Camii” mosque. Hacı Salih, who gave his name to the restaurant, adhered to the tradition that has been in place since 1888 and, aware of his advancing age, passed the banner to the apprentices he raised, making them the new masters of the trade. Hacı Salih, the name that carries the pride and beauty of quality and service to this day, was obliged to change its name to comply with official procedures. In 1983, the name reverted to the original name of Hacı Abdullah. It is possible to learn from the writings of the grandchildren of the Ottoman dynasty in our book of honor, whose grandfathers had eaten in our restaurant 90 years ago that, the fare of our restaurant, that opened with the official license granted by Sultan Abdülhamit the Second, has maintained its original taste to this day.