Köfte, the ubiquitous Turkish-grilled-meatball, has been a staple of the local diet since cows arrived in-country thousands of years ago. Most Köfte are packed with cheap fillers like bread crumbs, and overly seasoned with oregano and red pepper flakes until their beef flavor has all but disappeared. Namlı, on the other hand, strays from this tradition by char-grilling some of the juiciest and flavorful Köftes in town.
The only seasoning I detected was the salt on the outside which serves to crisp the exterior, and seal in the wonderful natural meat juices. Not over-cooked, these bites satisfy the carnivorous side of native and tourist patrons alike. Always packed at lunch time, it took a me a week to work up the gumption to press my way through the small patio to a shared table. The waiter’s only question was if I desired piyaz with my Köftes. Not being partial to the cold white-bean salad, I respectfully declined the offer and opted for a plain portion.
The joys of having a limited menu are clear yet again in this Hocapaşa eatery. Why crowd the kitchen with a multitude of diverse dishes, when you can do one thing and do it well? There are meat balls. There is grilled chicken shish. There is salad. There is helva for dessert.
The huge tub of fresh bread on the table provides a perfect home in which to nestle your Köftes with fresh slices of tomato and onion. The crunchy crust and soft insides of the bread slices parallel the texture of the meat balls, and sauce is not necessary as the juices from the meat drip into the sandwich.
At 7tl, the normal portion includes 6 balls… which are plenty to leave you satisfied and ready to work or play through to the evening.
- Don’t Miss: Köfte porsyon
- Best Perk: Do one thing, do it well
- Average Price: 10tl