The colorful Göztepe Pazarı

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Pazar changes its color like seasons. Fruits, flowers, vegetables even the stalls selling homemade produce change… spring is one of the liveliest times and as the summer approaches, I was not surprised to see the heap of clothing switched to heap of … Continue reading

A word on artichokes…

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There is artichoke and then there is artichoke. Do you wonder where the big fatty artichokes you see around the city are from? Izmir, you think? Going through the markets, all these colourful plastic basins full of artichoke hearts,  beautiful heaps of artichoke displays stops you. They … Continue reading

Tarihi Karaköy Balık Lokantası – Istanbul

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If you feel like you are lost, and this place is so wrong for a fish restaurant, it means you are in the right place. Tarihi Karaköy Balık Lokantası is located in Karaköy, in a rumble place. This place was … Continue reading

Köfte & Piyaz – Büyükada

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In Büyükada, you supposed to eat fish, right? Wrong! The lining restaurants at the seaside, which apply different fees to different kinds of customers, you never know which one you are till you get the bill, you may end up … Continue reading

Dondurmacı Yaşar Usta – Istanbul

You bite into the half lemon, catch that thought, then add sip of lemonade, there, you have the perfect tangy slurp of  the lemon ice cream of Yaşar Usta. It is not a shy from lemon ice cream, it is old school. Like all his  other fruit ice creams.

When we met with Yaşar Usta and his ice cream years ago, the melon was my first love. I felt like I am smelling a melon in a pazar. He brushes the skins of melons one by one before using them, he is a passionate man, Yaşar Usta. He does his job with perfection and love.

The strawberry ice cream is better then eating strawberry, for me.  The mulberry -these days may be you can put your hand on some- is sweet with the crunchy little seed popping between your teeth, the water melon – when in season- is great after a full dinner, like a cool breeze in a hot summer night, the orange -mostly in winter- is well, orange! Not to forget sour cherry, raspberry and fig – again when they are in season-. All fruit ice creams are made with fruit and sugar. No milk, pure fruit. Like eating a frozen fruit only better, thicker and richer.

For his milk based ice creams he uses sugar, salep and buffalo milk. The caramel is one of a kind, it is the burnt flavor taking me away, to my childhood and I want to stay there. I almost cried when I first tasted it!

The walnut ice cream is better then any walnut dessert, he also makes tahin ice cream, which has its own customers, you feel eating a cold spoon of sesame paste, only nicer, smoother.

He experiments and does all sorts of ice cream, he believes it tastes good. For all of his ice cream he neither uses additives, nor coloring, nor preservatives. He does with the best ingredient which is available.

Ice cream is never simpler, tastier, better. A true artisan my Yaşar Usta is!

Address: Prof. Dr. Ali Nihat Tarlan Sk. No:34, Bostancı, – yes that small stall in front…

Service hours: Late spring early summer he opens his stall, then when autumn starts turning winter he closes. Open around noon till midnight, mostly. He makes home delivery, during winter, when his small stall is closed for the season.

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Kantin – Istanbul

Let’s see…

A couple of stairs, enter through the glass door, greeted by smiling faces, crowd is eating happily, yes again full, should I wait for a table at the terrace or anywhere, let’s see what is on the big board today… White table clothes and fresh flowers meet the eye before the feast.

You are very welcome to Kantin!

Kantin is a safe place! One of the two-three safest places to eat in the city, other than home. But for this kind of food, sorry to say, there is no opponent for Kantin.  In Kantin the food is handled with respect, getting the most out of it.

The menu changes due to availability, seasons and mood. There is “Hergün” meaning everyday and “Bugün” meaning today menu written on a big board. If you are lucky to go there at spring, artichoke season, be sure to eat enginar pate, artichoke spread, smooth, kicking, flavors bursting in your mouth, served on a garlic rubbed toasted bread,  with a little goat cheese, leaves of water cress… Bahar salatası, spring salad, is with the best mozzarella you can find in Turkey, shelled fresh broad beans, asparagus, is the answer to  what a salad should be!

Çıtır, meaning crispy, is a little thin dough cooked in wood oven, topped with varieties of artichoke or vegetables or smoked salmon is the one thing you cannot get enough of. The bream also gets its share from the wood oven and comes with its crackling skin, filled with herbs. The grilled cutlet of chicken with sage, turkey marinated with honey, artichokes with parsley, everything…

Ayran is made with herbs, lemonade is old school. Turkish coffee is served with, well, I’ll leave this as a surprise…

Dükkan is down stairs where prepared food, desserts, bread, cheese and more delicacies are sold. If you are hungry after a days work, stop there to indulge yourself and pick our poison. One thing though! If you can choose!  Desserts have a league of their own. Lemon cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake -one of my faves-, cherry jam and clotted cream filled tarts, chocolate and brandy filled mini bombs… all the remedy you need anytime of the day!

The food of Kantin is simple, clean, all about Istanbul and Aegean. Şemsa Denizsel is an indisputable kitchen goddess and one of the best chefs of Turkey.

Skillful cooking, peculiar tastes, sustainability, top notch ingredients combined with flavors comes up to clean tastes, simple, yet every bite notable, leaving you in a bliss.

Kantin not only fills your tummy, but also your soul!

Address: Akkavak sokak No.30, Nişantaşı, Istanbul

Phone: (212) 219 3114

Service Hours: Restaurant, Monday-Saturday 11.00am-8.30pm last order, Dükkan Monday-Saturday 10.30am-8.00pm

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