Tag Archive: ortakoy


Whenever I come to Istanbul I stay at “Radisson Blu Hotel” in Ortakoy. All my friends know that it is my second house. I like it because the rooms are fine and Ortakoy, where it is located, is the center of lots of summer bars, restaurants and cafes. “House Café” which is literally few steps away from my hotel’s entrance is one of the nice hangouts. Imagine a restaurant by the sea, where there is always a nice wind, with great cocktails, and very tasty international cuisine. Their only problem is service; the stuff is lovely but not very capable. I guess they hire young students who don’t have any idea about restaurant business. Don’t worry after an afternoon serving me, either they quit or they become professionals ;) )))
So when I woke up on Sunday, I was dreaming of their eggs benedicts. Finally ended up taking a bottle of rose and share a pizza. Once again they proved my theory, food excellent, and the service poor. The crowd well this is Turkey, so while a tourist is sitting on one side, some locals enjoying their lunch on the other, you could easily see a woman with her head covered having tea with her husband, sitting next to the table of the girl who has a mini, or I might say micro shorts sipping her chilled rose.
So I guess it shows very well what Turkey is about; a combination between Europe and Asia ….

That night we decided to go to my favorite Kebab Restaurant called “Venge”. Normally the restaurant is in 4. Levent area, but this summer they decided to rent a spot at Sortie as well. Very good idea because with the heat wave in Istanbul right now, the bosphorus air is always a blessing.
I would have thought it would be empty, but I was wrong. The crowd was composed of some French tourist that I believe the hotel sent some locals, some locals with non Turkish guests and us…
The system is simple, when you sit to your table, they bring you warm pide bread with cheese, and a lahmacun (mini Turkish pizza w ground beef and spices), and then the mezze plate comes where you chose your Turkish tapas to accompany your meat.

Once the mezzes on your table, your Raki (Pastis) chilled with ice you can start thinking about your main dishes… Venge is famous for their Doner Kebap (Turkish döner kebap, literally “turning roast”), is dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order. Unfortunately they didn’t have any, so we decided to take lamb chops and minced meat, no need to say delicious.
And finish dinner with their famous deserts to share, Irmik helva (Semolina helva) with vanilla ice cream inside, and Peynirli Künefe which is a sweet shredded pastry with cheese…. Well no need to say that these deserts are very light… I am sure if we follow eight watchers, we will get minus points with them ;)

Although the weather was too warm and humid it was a great night, I mean how you can not enjoy it…. Great food, great view, great company and amazing music….

I have spent my first day in Istanbul with my mother and sister. We did some shopping and from there we went to have a lunch at “Papermoon”. The Milanese restaurant that opened in Istanbul, and since had a great success. It is located by “Akmerkez”, which is one of the first shopping malls in Istanbul. Whenever I visit the city, I need to have lunch there with my girls. My lunch is generally composed of lots of wine, and “Spaghetti alla Bottarga”, (botargo) which is a cured fish roe delicacy. I love it so much that even if it is not on the menu, I ask the chef to make it for me… and guess what this is Turkey, where service is the key word, so I always have it

This time, as I have spend so much time in Italy eating pasta in all its shapes and ways, I decided to change and took a “Carpaccio of Pesce Spada” (swordfish carpaccio) followed by a “Cotoletta Milanese”, the classical breaded veal that you can also call Wienerschnitzel. But let’s admit sounds less sexy and appealing.

So after having good food, good wine, watching the Istanbul socialites having their lunch, we left the restaurant to continue our errands. And go back to our hotels for some rest.

In the evening I was meeting some friends at Biber, which is a bar, restaurant where you can taste good wines or drinks while nibbling tapas. It is situated in Sortie
For the ones who have never been to Istanbul in summer and saw those spots let me try to describe it for you. Imagine a great space by the Bosporus, in the middle of the space you have a big lounge bar, and around you have 4 – 5 restaurants. And each year great restaurants rent for summer those spaces (no kidding, they have to afford the rent…) and Biber is on the right of the main Bar, just by the water.

Biber is the hot spot this summer, everybody goes for happy hour and stays until wee hours, and I understood why… Service great, music and crowd great. Great selection of wine and yummy food…. And the best? It is not expensive!!!! So no kidding it is the happening spot, they found the secret ;)
So after staying there for a very long time, we decided to leave but were not ready to sleep yet… and some of us were hungry after all that chatting and drinks. So we took a cab and went to Kircicegi, which is in Ortakoy. It is a restaurant open 24/7, and has the best pide. The best way to describe a pide is Turkish folded pizza, the fold the pastry like a little boat and they fill in with whatever you want. The best combinations starts with Kasar cheese (Turkish parmesan), and then you add sucuk (Turkish spicy sausage) or pastirma (Turkish cured beef), or simply ground beef… I mean you have thousands of possibilities, and they are all yummy yum yum…

To sum it all, another “healthy” day, lots of food, lots of drinks and lots of shopping… but guess what, it is the pleasure of life…. so it is worth it. I would be healthy again when the sun would go away. And it is a crime to not eat in Turkey, and a bigger crime to not drink when you are with friends… and well you know me and shopping ;) ))