With a heavy heart, my BFF and I dragged our luggage out of the hotel. Before leaving the old town of Istanbul, Turkey, we had lunch at a simple hotel restaurant nearby. It was a good decision to dine there, especially having just found out that it's quite highly rated in the Internet.
Even though Melon was sad, she didn't fail to smile cutely. Hehe... :P
The most interesting complimentary bread throughout my trip was found in this particular restaurant. Topped with black sesame, it was soft and savoury, going well with olive oil and black olive paste.
Stuffed Wine Leaves ₺10.00 (~S$4.95)
I'd been looking for this particular delicacy high and low, and apparently it was only until then that I managed to get it. Stuffed with rice, currants and pine nuts, the wine leaves were fragrant. They went well with the dollop of yogurt placed in the middle of the plate.
Seafood Casserole ₺29.00 (~S$14.30)
Served on the hotplate was an array of seafood (salmon, shrimps, mussels and squid), tomatoes, green peppers, garlic and butter. Finished with cheese on top, it was a savoury dish that was far from monotonous in terms of taste. Perhaps it could be a bit sweeter overall for a better balance of flavours.
Revan Kebap ₺32.00 (~S$15.75)
Little did I know about the existence of such an interesting dish of lamb cubes cooked with cream, dried apricots and spring onions before my lunch there. The red meat was tender, laden with addictively sweet and rich sauce that wasn't sickeningly thick. It was accompanied with not only rice, but also half a baked potato.
Kunefe ₺11.00 (~S$5.50)
"Just one more kunefe (Turkish wiry cheese pastry)!" I thought, knowing that I'd be leaving the country in less than 24 hours. The second kunefe that I had wasn't as good as the one at St. John Café in Izmir as the former could be moister. Nevertheless, it was cheesy enough, topped with savoury pistachio crumbs.
Homemade Lemonade ₺12.00 (~S$5.90)
An exotic looking drink, the homemade lemonade was mixed with green apple and fresh mint leaves. It resulted in pretty much a refreshing drink that wasn't overly sour, but it could be slightly sweeter. For a moment, I thought I was at a beach paradise. Haha...
Pika's advice: If you feel like splurging, the restaurant recommends its Seabass Cooked in Salt (For 2 People) priced at ₺99.00 (~S$48.70). Well, before checking out of the hotel, we actually made it a point to visit the Basilica Cistern, known to be the largest ancient cistern underneath the city. I truly enjoyed the atmosphere there.
Spectra Café & Restaurant
Sehit Mehmet Pasa Yokusu No. 2
(Opening hours unknown - Anyone knows?)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge.
Have a nice meal,