A day does not pass in Istanbul without a new eatery opening its doors. Places offering different flavors and decor attract the attention of both local and foreign tourists alike. The Turkish food and beverage sector, which competes with Europe and the U.S., is setting examples for global brands. Here are a few of the newest spots.
The first of these is Louie, located in Akasya Shopping Mall, a popular shopping venue on Istanbul's Anatolian side. Owner Uğur Karabayır, who opened the restaurant with the support of the UKA Life Group, has extensive experience in the sector and is well-known for his other restaurants Martinez and Hudson. He is even preparing to open a Martinez in Bodrum in the Bella Sombra Hotel. Louie is his latest venture. The name of the place comes from the restaurant's mascot, a tropical parrot. As a matter of fact, wide-leaved plants, wicker chairs and the mixture of blue, green and brown hues in the place make you feel as if you are in a chic tent in the Amazon rain forest. Even the wallpaper in the bathrooms has parrot and forest patterns. The ceilings of are high and specious. Chic lamps on the tables, white table cloths and blue sofas strengthen the ambiance.
The venue's dishes bear world cuisine synthesis. More specifically, the starter of shrimp wrapped in cabbage leaves carefully arranged like tiny tacos. The little potatoes brought from Ödemiş, İzmir stuffed with spare rib and cheese are also delicious. On the other hand, I loved the presentation of the American classic, macaroni and cheese, served hot in a small copper bowl. In addition to these hot starters, sushi options are also good. For the main course, I liked the rib steak with teriyaki sauce served with black rice. Another main option is veal chops. Out of the deserts, the Paris Brest is an outright a gastronomical feast. The cream and caramel sauce in it is wonderful. Louie's cocktails are also amazing and their Cinnamon King is really a perfect summer cocktail. I congratulate Uğur Karabayır and UKA Life's master chef Nihat Sancar once again.
Baskqet Meat Restaurant
Another very popular concept these days is a meat-centered menu. Wooden decorations, animal hides, fireplaces, animal bones and horns are essentials for a classic steak joint. However, the restaurant I will mention to you today is different from all of these in this respect. Although it focuses on meat, everything from its name to its decor belongs to the world of basketball as its owner is famous basketball player Kerem Gönlüm. The name of the place located in İstinye is quite creative, Baskqet. As the name implies, the place is both a meat restaurant and a sports bar and goes beyond any other in its sector in Istanbul. Kerem Gönlüm's uniforms from the teams he played on for Turkey and abroad, his trophies and pictures are everywhere. The custom-made basketball hoop chandeliers are wonderful. Basketball games are almost always on the giant screen behind the bar. Chester sofas on the main hall add a special touch to the place. It is possible to come across the elegant touches of Elif Gönlüm, Kerem's wife, everywhere in the place, as well. I congratulate this famous and successful couple on their new venture.
When it comes to flavors served in Baskqet there are many we can mention. You can see and choose the meat yourself in the in-house meat case. I especially loved the cheese pepperoni, meatballs and hamburgers. Likewise, the salad options are quite rich. For those wanting a little privacy, the venue has a VIP room in the back where you host a party for special guests. Baskqet also serves lunch and is pretty crowded, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, so reservations are highly recommended. If you are tired of ordinary meat restaurants, make sure to visit this place.
Breeze of Greece
My last suggestion is Masabuka, which carries the breeze of Greece's Thasos Island to Turkey. Located in Bebek, Masabuka is owned by Hasan Yesilyurt, who also owns the Köşebaşı Kebab restaurants. This first branch inspired by Thasos Island is attracting a lot of attention. The menu focuses on grilling and is quite simple. They offer Greek-style street food and local specialties like special spice sausage, cheese meatballs, lamb shish kebab, cheese croquet and mushrooms on a skewer. The presentations are quite simple. In other words, you can taste fast and different food in a relaxed atmosphere. For dessert, you should try the homemade cheesecake. The coffees of the place, where wine is also served, are very popular.
The decor reflects a modern Turkish style with Greek breezes. I especially loved the Greek knight pictures and art on the walls. Cream-colored wood coverings, patio area and lighting work to create a very warm atmosphere. I suggest you to try Masabuka the first chance you get. Bon appetite!