Every corner of Turkey has its own unique flavors. The herbs of the Aegean region, Anatolian meats, the fish of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean's citrus fruits are all indispensable parts of Turkish and world cuisine. This week, I want to suggest three restaurants with different concepts in which you can experience these rich varieties.
Our first stop is Poyrazköy. Located on the border of Istanbul, Poyrazköy will take you away from the noise and stress of the city. A small fishing village, it is worth seeing with its village coffee house, fisherman boats and splendid view of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge. My suggestion here is the Poyraz Çapari restaurant. The place is owned and operated by Nihal Güntulun and her family, from the Black Sea region, who hosted us during our time there. Serving dishes prepared by her father Şaban over 16 years is very romantic. Poyraz Çapari is good for your soul, with tables set on the beach, tablecloths with rudder designs, pink cushions and torches lit during the evenings.
You can put your feet in the water after dinner, and even swim in the sea. The lights of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, on the other hand, look marvelous during the sunset. It is a perfect paradise for photographers and there is live music on some evenings. In addition to dinners, it's also an ideal place for wedding proposals. At the same time, weddings are also held at Poyraz Çapari.
Meals, on the other hand, are pretty diverse. Mezes are prepared fresh daily. Fish, on the other hand, are caught from the sea in front of your eyes and brought to the table as there is a small fishermen port at Poyrazköy. Right across from the port is the Poyraz Çapari Restaurant. Here, Chef Şaban is completely in love with his job. He is especially an expert regarding mezes. I loved the calamari and dried tomatoes with walnuts. The calamari sauce is prepared meticulously and the dried tomatoes have an aromatic flavor because they are marinated in olive oil with walnuts. When it comes to fish, my favorite is the horse mackerel. It is fried with expertise and never soaked in oil. Among the deserts of the place, on the other hand, katmer with cream and pistachio must definitely be tasted. Furthermore, the semolina halwa with ice cream is also an option. Apart from dinner, breakfast is also served on the weekends. I suggest that you visit Poyraz Çapari before the summer evenings are over.
My other suggestion would be a place on the Aegean. Although YEK, famous chef Kemal Demirasal's place, is located in the Alaçatı district of İzmir province, the flavors it offers are inspired by Anatolia and many spots around the world. Demirasal is a complete food professor. He is a gastro-traveler who traveled the world to discover new flavors. Situated on the hills of Alaçatı, YEK is one of the most popular places to visit this summer. The restaurant boasts a view of wind plants and old Alaçatı houses and is full all the time. The place bears perfect Mediterranean freshness with olive trees, nostalgic lamps and pastel colors. Its large bar section, on the other hand, is rather assertive. Apart from the tables, you can also get your meals served at the bar. It's more intimate and comfortable this way. You can easily pass on to the section which features a live DJ performance, from the bar section.
The meals, on the other hand, are a feast all by themselves. Normally preparing fusion experiences, Kemal Demirasal also mixes flavors that can be liked and understood by everyone with a truly stunning menu. While they prepare their own bread, being able to see the kitchen area gives more assurance to the guests. Among the meals, the fig salad is the right choice to make a green start during your meal. Also, the peach kebab is a pretty creative flavor. The peach flavor nicely suits the meat. Furthermore, Kemal Demirasal has made his creativity speak out again. The tuna Churrasco with black prunes, summer pasta with truffle and seafood noodle are among the other aspiring flavors. Among the desserts, on the other hand, panna cotta with mastic or semolina halwa with milk jam are each a different feast for your palette. Reservations must be made in advance for this fusion meal experience at YEK.
The last flavor I will suggest, on the other hand, is Spago's revitalized menu. The place located in the St. Regis Hotel in Nişantaşı makes an impression with its new flavors as much as with its terrace. Spago's terrace section becomes an option full of flavors and fun with its DJ parties for people staying in Istanbul.
I had the chance to taste the new menu from Chef Cihan Kıpçak, accompanied by Wolfgang Puck Dining Group Operation Manager Alex Resnik on his Istanbul visit. It is a wonderful menu where Turkish flavors and foreign cuisines are blended together. Especially the sushi options were just out of this world. You must try drinking Japanese Hibiki with the sushi. I suggest that you stop by Spago, managed by Deniz Zengin, both for the flavors and for the art pieces in it. The oil painting, which is the only autoportrait of famous artist Andy Warhol, is located right at the entrance of Spago. I congratulate both Deniz Zengin and Alper Can Bulcum, who is the new manager of the hotel, for their success.
Tips of the week
Top 3 restaurants of the week
- YEK / Alaçatı
- Hazine / Bodrum
- Spago / Nişantaşı
Top 3 hotels of the week
- Alavya / Alaçatı
- Bell Sombra / Bodrum
- Lavanda / Şile
Top 3 people to follow this week
- Dr. Murat Kemaloğlu / Psychotherapist
- Alper Kızılbayır / Chef
- Canan Yetişti / Photographer