İçli köfte, Sabırtaşı, Tuba Şatana

Eating on the streets of Istanbul!

I love street food! Love it! Simit, chestnuts, çiğ köfte, döner, kokoreç… You name it, I love it! So I have my stops at various neighbourhoods for different bites depending the time of the day… They are dear to me with their food, with their Ustas and their personalities! Simit… You…

köy tavuk budu, fındık taratorlu nohut, Yeni Lokanta, tuba şatana

Yeni Lokanta, Chef Civan Er’s
new playground!

We were in need of good food and a bottle of wine, we did not have a reservation but lucky enough we got a table. By the time we settled down, the place gave us a sense of relief. We were at Yeni Lokanta, Civan Er’s new restaurant. The restaurant itself consists…

eat you vegetable!

A survival guide to
gluten-free eating in Istanbul!

I know I know… Gluten-free eating in Turkey may sound challenging, I admit. If it is not the dishes themselves makes you take the challenge, it is the slaphappy, carefree, lovely waiters, the know it all restaurants and nothing can happen form this kind of attitude bearers. Yes, you need to…



48 hours in Istanbul – where to eat?!

48 hours in Istanbul is never enough! You think you will be thorn in between the Hagia Sophia, a Bosphorus tour, may be a Princes Island getaway, what about Chora Museum and Istanbul Modern? The fantastic sunset from Galata Tower?  It all comes to why you are in Istanbul! Since…

Asım usta and Tuba Şatana

Asım Usta’s döner as the best
fast feast of Europe!

On the phone with Asım Usta -to me-: Where have you been?!! The nature of our conversations, meetings have always been the same, the same kindness, sincerity, friendship coming from years and years of me being their loyal customer, and supporter of one of the true artisans of Istanbul and…

urla mantısı, konal cafe, by tuba şatana

Mantı as a second lunch in Urla

While we were at the Aegean coast, Sibel and Filiz planned a trip to Urla, Filiz being a local since she moved there so I left myself, my senses, my appetite in her hands, feeling lucky I have friends like them. We arrived Iskele, Urla at mid morning, after our fulfilling katmer…

Cemil Usta, Mandabatmaz, by tuba şatana

Istanbul’s coffee shops: Mandabatmaz

Turkish coffee is more than a tiny cup of caffeine for any Turkish people. It is a social event, a time well spent,  an office gossip, a morning newspaper, a gathering, a moment of our lives that we found in a cup. We do not grab a turkish coffee and…

making o fkatmer at Urla, Tuba şatana

Katmer for breakfast
at Ünal Kardeşler, Urla

Just a usual morning for me, asking the waiter if I can visit the kitchen and chat with ustas…  For me, as I always say, watching the true masters, this experience is more important then the food itself, hence it is them, ustas, who make the food that treasured. Urla katmer…

Sorry, but no: Yengeç Restaurant – Urla

So proud to serve 102 kinds of meze, they forgot that the food should be fresh, for one thing. Fresh for another. The ingredient quality is one of the key factors in restaurant business. Adding soy sauce, tuzot- umami salts – cream, does not help the dish to become better,…

kronotrop, tuba şatana

Istanbul’s Coffee Shops: Kronotrop

I am a coffee nerd. I can not live without coffee. But not any coffee, I only drink the best there is, after the perfect bite, this time perfect coffee as my motto. The problem is that not many coffee houses please me, hence I brew the best possible coffee…


Offal minds in Istanbul

Offal, you either love it or hate it. I love it. Every piece of it, sweetbreads, brain, liver, intestines, heart, testicles, tripe, trotter… When growing up I had the best of offal on my table; lamb brain salad with olive oil, lemon and parsley, pan grilled ram’s testicles, thick slices…

making of pide, Pideban, by Tuba Şatana

Pideban, Butter and Old Radios

They all ordered kıymalı pide and a big jug of ayran, 5 workers in uniforms… Fortunately we had arrived before them and ordered our share of pide. With each order you may hear Sami Usta pounding on the dough in the kitchen… One young waiter was cleaning the windows with newspaper,…

doner 2

Where to eat the best döner kebab in Istanbul

Döner kebab -for the beginners- is a meat dish consists of deboned meat layered on a vertical spit, roasted rotating on its axis, then cut -shaved- thin slices with a special long knife aka döner bıçağı… Served as pide sandwich, wrapped in lavaş, in half loaf of bread or plated on…