In Sirkeci, there are two types of people. the Lunches, and the Dinners.
Lunches work in Sirkeci, but they live somewhere else. In fact, almost nobody actually lives in the neighborhood. They do not make alot of money to spend on eating out, and they do not have an hour to eat, more like 15 minutes or less, and often those 15 minutes are spent gobbling down a delivery in the store room. These people are Turkish. They know good Turkish food and they do not settle for some pretentious “world food” or any new-fangled panini/Cobb salad/soup-in-bread-bowl inventions. The trick to feeding a working man is to fill him up for as little money as possible and satisfy his palate, at least to the extent that he does not complain. This style poses some obvious limitations, there is not room for innovation, change is eschewed, and the status quo is upheld.
Dinners are tourists. They ate a late breakfast at the hotel, they snacked around at lunch time, and they expect something semi-formal for a 2 hour dinner, unwinding from the chaos of the city with a glass of wine and a white table cloth. Dinners want to feel like they are eating the “local cuisine” but are stuck in the wrong setting. The Lunches have cleared out and gone home to their mothers or wives for dinner, leaving a wasteland of tour buses and dreaded MenuMen forcing their cardboard with the veracity of a ninja-star into your unsuspecting face. Dinners find an often overpriced, unimpressive meal with overexcited service staff and food that comes from the kitchen suspiciously quickly.
Solutions? Eat lunch in Sirkeci. There are hundreds of tiny canteens and kebaps lurking the in alleys, waiting for discovery. Pick one that is packed around lunch time, and join the feeding frenzy to devour some köfte, dürüm, or whatever strikes your fancy on the table next to yours. Try the old Point And Grunt to express you want what he’s eating.
The magic of Kanatçi Muro is that there is no magic. You can see your food cooking on the horizontal spit. There are three choices on the menu, Leg Plate (but porsiyon), Wing Plate (kanat porsiyon), or Mixed Plate (karışık porsıyon). All cost 8.50 lira and include bulgur pilav, veggie slices, and bread. The wings were awesome, marinated in a special seasoning mix and slow roasted until tender and jucy, Muro wins top praise from this Luncher. As with most other small spots like this, its closed by 6 or whenever the chicken runs out so don’t wait too long and miss your chance you will be remanded to the tablecloth bog until morning.
Közde Kanatçi Muro
Uzunçarsı Cad. No. 220 Tahtakale
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