Asian cuisine beckons

ARDA SAYINER @ardasayiner
Published 02.04.2016 00:00

Istanbul has a rich variety of restaurants to suit every taste, including delicious destinations for those who crave Far-Eastern cuisine

Today, it is possible to find tastes from many different world cuisines in Istanbul. Although Turkish cuisine is a quite rich one, the numerous Indian, French and Far East restaurants around Istanbul show just how global this city has become. With an increasing population of foreigners, as well as locals who have traveled abroad, seeking foreign cuisine in Istanbul, there are plenty of hot spots offering delicious Far East cuisine certain to satisfy any craving.

The first place getting attention for its Asian cuisine in Istanbul is "Zuma." Previously located in Ortaköy, Zuma is now open in İstinye Park. The venue, designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu, was established based on five basic elements. As a chic place with mystic decorations, Zuma features a unique bar that has been carved out of a giant log and a terrace which has heated floors. The venue features a purple-and-orange color theme, adding a unique ambiance to the venue at night. Zuma is especially known for its presentation and service. I definitely recommend that you taste the different kinds of sushi that are served on giant, custom-made plates. Parade your guests with this monumental presentation.

Of all the delicious foods Zuma has to offer, I recommend one dish in particular - the steak - made by prominent chef, Rainer Becker. The steak is served with barley miso chicken which is cooked over the flames of a cedar wood-burning fire, and served with sliced garlic and wafu sauce. Zuma offers a daily lunch menu and, for the culinary connoisseur, a dinner menu offering various sushi, grilled fish, crab and shellfish, and marinated, tender meat dishes. For the avid wine taster, Zuma's 3,000-bottle wine cellar also offers cheery cocktails. You should also try the Southeast Asian Cooler and Raspberry Passion Fruit Martini - a customer favorite. Visit Istanbul's most popular restaurant the first chance you get.One word of caution, however, do not forget to make a reservation.

Another place where you can enjoy sushi in Istanbul is "Vogue," offering the tastes of world cuisine. This fine dining restaurant is run by Deniz Zengin and has a feminine touch with pink orchids on the tables and a glorious view of the Bosporus. While I love every dish I have tried here, I also enjoyed their sushi bar. I highly recommend the sushi called the "Vogue Special" which includes spicy salmon, crab, avocado, cream cheese and teriyaki sauce. If you are looking for a good cocktail to go with your meal, first try the Bold Pilot, one of their signature cocktails.You will love this delicious drink which is garnished with grated almond. Another delicious dish is the Kadayıf Shrimp. In addition, Ebitan Maki is, again, one of the eye-catching options on the menu. I was enamored by the Toro and Salmon Sashimi. You should also try the sorbe and the tiramisu desserts --made with a special house rum that is aged 15 years. I can assuredly say that I have tasted the best Tiramisu of my life here. Serving its guests since 1997, Vogue continues to be the pearl of Istanbul.

Another Asian breeze suggestion of mine is Go Meso. The place in İstinye Park is quite big. They barbecue the Mongolian style. There are foods that belong to Middle Asia, also known as the Silk Road cuisine. Here you may also find different adaptations from Turkish cuisine as well; namely, Midyat Lavaş and Lahmacun. Go Meso also features dishes that are cooked in a stone oven, such as a delicious pizza - topped with eggplant, zucchini and onion - called Midyat Lavaş. Go Meso features Indian head chefs as well as Indonesian and Turkish chefs. The venue is designed with warm colors and features Churchill-brand serving ware. The restaurant has also featured authentic plates from the Stone Cast series. The chefs at Go Meso use six different cooking techniques. The first one, my favorite, is a grill cooking technique which is called the Yakitori. Another technique they use to prepare meat is known as Tandori. This method uses a special spice marinade for the meats. Another method, called the steam ship, comes right to your table for a first-hand experience. First, guests choose their own vegetable, noodle and the type of meat from an open buffet. Choices include red meat, white meat and seafood. Then, a special pot filled with hot soup is brought to your table along with serving utensils. This hot soup is used to cook your meat. The pot, which is placed on a heater, cooks your meat slowly and delivers a tender and delicious meal. It is an authentic choice for long and enjoyable dinners. My favorite, on the other hand, is the Lamb Tikka. You will love the marinated lamb.

In addition, Indian style, triangle pastries known as Samosas are also very good; I recommend that guests try the chicken samosa first. Customers can also enjoy famous Indian naan bread here. The one with garlic is my favorite. This venue also offers a diverse tea menu. Rooibos, a unique tea used for healing, is a miraculous drink given to babies in South Africa after breast milk. You should definitely try this tea which is prepared from a caffeine-free plant that only grows in Africa. Likewise, the Orange Truffle is a good choice. You will also find a big bar located here which has a warm and lively environment. Among cocktails, the Mongolian Sour Cocktail caught my attention the most. Prepared from red chili, the cocktail is hot and is likely to give you the sniffles. I suggest that you try it. As for the dessert, the Pişmaniye, served atop ice cream,is very good. Likewise, the mango soufflé is also worth tasting. Shortly, Go Meso deserves a visit at the first chance.

If you are searching for a restaurant on the Bosporus and are a sushi lover, I recommend Kiss the Frog. Here, manager Gül Ekter uses the most creative methods to serve seafood, making his venue a success. Operating with a fairy tale-like philosophy and as warm as a grandmother, the place is indeed like a house. Its shades of maroon, bamboos and frog figures are quite unique. As for the food, the Seabass Ceviche with Ginger and Truffed Prawns with Orzu are just incredible. I also loved Why Not Berry which is a strawberry sushi. Likewise, Kiss the Ebi was also very delicious. The names are so creative, aren't they? Besides sushi, the Seafood Crispy Pita is also a delicious choice. You may choose from squid ink, whole wheat and plain dough. The most glorious food of the venue, on the other hand, is the seabass cooked within the bread dough. It is a different version of fish cooked in salt. It is delicious and I recommend that you try it.

The desserts at Kiss the Frog, on the other hand, are as sweet as the conversations of the owner, Lady Gül. The salted and lemon cheesecakes as well as the After Eight Profiterol are exquisite. Lay your place at this Bosporus bridge view venue at the first chance you get. Follow the social media accounts of the place that offers live music in specific evenings, and get information about the floor shows.

Lastly, I want to talk about a popular and quick Asian restaurant, Sushico. Convenient with respect to both its prices and tastes, Sushico is a brand that increases its quality of taste and service day by day, in my opinion. Established in 1997, the brand offers catering services in addition to its restaurant service. Various sushi cooking courses are also offered at various periods.I love the hand rolls of Sushico which are known as Temaki. The ones prepared from eel are particularly delicious. Likewise, the Crunchy Roll is a super crunchy delicacy. On the other hand, the Mango Roll is a different sushi alternative with fruit. The Jumbo Shrimp Pad Thai Soup and the Thai Style Steak with basil and chili sauce are also very delicious. There are many choices for vegetarians as well. I love the Kanyon branch of Sushico the most. The brand also provides many special offers to its online customers. Taste and explore.

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