Friday, May 13, 2016

2016Feb.Istanbul 9 - Karaköy Lokantası

Dinner in the first night was at Karaköy Lokantası, ground level of the hotel.
I always keep eating at here because of the quality of foods, at-home and warm welcomed feeling of the service, and affordable price tags. They also serve alcohol. Some authentic restaurants don't because of the religious restrictions.

Spiral stairway is located just a center of the restaurant, and the tables are surrounding it.
It was Thursday evening. Pretty busy at 8:30 pm but this restaurant is always popular and goes like this.

When I book the hotel, I asked dinner reservations simultaneously so I got my table as "reserved." I was very welcomed by the owner and all staffs. Every single person working in the guestroom stopped by, greeted and said to me welcome back. That was really touching.
Toasted breads with olive oil have been served immediately. I asked local white wine, which tastes like pinot grigio, and sparkling water. Then I could make weiß schorle, southern German style sparkling diluted wine which is instantaneously made sparkling wine in lower alcohol level.

Salad has been arrived very soon.
Arugula salad is topped with fresh'n ripe tomatoes. Olive oil and white vinaigrette was already applied, so what I needed was scoop some on a small dish, sprinkle salt and peppers, then eat. Every single time I was amazed in Turkey that the flavor of vegetables are quite strong and fresh, somewhat nostalgic. This might be because of the bleeds are authentic, just not like GMO veggies we have in The States.

The main course was sirloin steaks in Turkish style. This dish came before I finish eating my salad. This is not a French restaurant so I love this immediate, parallel serving policy.
Medium-thin sliced sirloin was char grilled, served with potatoes and beets. For this dish, I didn't need my Japanese sauce (a.k.a. soy sauce). The meats were tender, potatoes and beets are great accents to the flavor of beef.

During I was emptying my dishes, tables around me became empty too.
Servicepersons were setting up the table quick, then the next guests have been seated. This is such a popular restaurant.

I asked serviceperson for dessert tonight. He was trying to translate properly but I already remembered most of the availabilities.  When he said "Today's fruit is... wine boiled... umm" then I helped him "Quince?"  "Ah, yes, sir."
Quince in red wine comport was served with... crème fraîche? It looks like heavy, crotted cream. This is my favorite dish here, and this quince comport is being served in winter. Yum!

Finished with strong, double espresso.
I paid by Palladium card because foreign transaction fee is waived. This card is quite bring bring but safe enough at here. I use dark brown colored plastic version, which president Obama has the same, if I concerned the safety.

Returned my room after enjoyed the good quality and amount of meal.
This is the view from my room. Hagia Sophia is shown beyond the Golden Horn bay where the ferry boats are running.
Long haul flights, steam bath and massage followed by the plenty of great meal, I jumped in a bed and slept like a log.


  1. Quince 日本で一般的にはマルメロって呼ばれてると思います。義父の故郷にはマルメロの里とか言って、樹が植わってます。カリンとも少し違うようですが、いずれ、香りが強くてかたい実という印象。赤ワイン煮に濃厚なクリーム、美味しそうです。

    1. この果実、スイスの先生の果樹園で初めて見たときは何物だか判りませんでした...。マルメロなんですか?果実酒とジャムにするくらいしか使いみちがないので、のど飴と同じカリンだと脳内変換していました。どのみち梨とか林檎の仲間ですよね。結実したばかりの小さいときは変に毛深いのがキモいです。それに普段は Quince としか呼んでないし、今後も日本語で呼ぶ機会もないだろうし。(苦笑)

      どっちも好き♥ 甲乙つけられません。季節物ということで、愉しむようにしています。

      また冬・春・さらに秋?と足繁く通いたいですが... 隣国の情勢がまだちょっと心配。

      > 金持ちと判断されて、襲われないように


  2. obaKoba-sann,

    Karaköy Lokantası seems to be recognized for presenting usually pleasing, especially to the taste of Turkish foods at moderate financial values.
    This house-management(?) business establishment serving food and drink must be a well-known spot in the district with provincial people, while in the latter part of a day the ambience is more favorable with a wide range of alcoholics, I imagine.

    best denki

    1. Sensei,

      The word "Lokantası" means similar to "Izakaya" in Japanese, due to my understanding. They serve variety of wines and Rakı (strong spirits smells like fennel/anise) with authentic and/or Mediterranean inspired dishes like French, Italian or Spanish. (though the cooking are somewhat similar, Turkish people don't like Greek, I heard) And the vast majority (I would say "all") of guests are happily drinking either wine or Rakı, chatting and laughing loudly. This is exactly the same as Izakaya in Japan, but the serving style is high-end. Furthermore, numbers of tourists are eating at here too. At least once a stay I help American tourists for the menu voluntarily, or they identify my Californian (Hawaiian?) accent and ask me what I can recommend. This restaurant is such a casual atmosphere.

      The next door to Karaköy Lokantası is Lokanta Maya, where is always listed as top-10 fine dining restaurant in Istanbul. I always eat at Maya once every stay, and their dishes are Italian inspired. If someone wish to have more traditional Turkish dishes with high-end service, yet affordable price range, Karaköy Lokantası is the best choice in this area, I believe.