My friend told me “these are the best köfte [grilled meatballs] in all of Istanbul.” I looked at her with my eyebrows raised. How does one qualify, or better yet quantify, such a brazen statement? There are at least 100,000 köfte joints in this city and no, that is not an exaggeration. If you ate lunch at one every day… you would never finish because by the time you approached end of the list half of them would have closed and a new 50,000 would have opened. Half of those would have closed again already as well. Istanbul is a city of impermanence. The shop-scape of my street has changed in its entirety after just 14 months living there.
So anyway, we went to try the place out. There is no menu, but a counter displaying the meats for grilling available at your discretion. This sunny Thursday the proud chef pointed us towards the süt kuzu pirzola (suckling-lamb chops) as being especially exquisite. Taking the ustas advice I got a karışık izgara tabağ (mixed grill plate) taking advantage of each tasty looking meat in the case. A platter containing perfectly seared tavuk şiş (chicken on a stick,) sucuk (garlic sausage,) biftek (beef shank,) köfte , and the aforementioned lamb chops arrived along with piyaz, which is a salad of white beans with lettuce and tomatoes. Also the waiter came around with a bowl of homemade sweet-sour sauce which was great on the bread as well as the meat.
All was excellent, and the köfte ekmek (sandwich) is also delicious. Service was good and the location in Sirkeci next to the Topkapı palace is convenient for people staying in Sultanahmet as it is just 5 minutes walk down the hill.
- Don’t Miss: köfte portion with rice and ayran (yogurt drink)
- Best Perk:Fresh grilled meats
- Average Price: 10tl
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