How many Istanbul restaurants do you know that have managed to stay open for decades while preserving their historic character? You could probably count them on one hand. Until 2011, Russian restaurant Rejans was among these eateries, yet after it became unable to financially support itself in the same building it occupied for over 80 years, it was quietly shut down and Istanbullus ended up losing one of their oldest eateries.
Thankfully the story didn’t end there – only the protagonists changed, with 360 Entertainment Group partners Mike Norman and Sasha Khan setting out to bring this historic restaurant back to life. 1924 is an eatery that combines the old and the new, paying tribute to Rejans without completely relying on the past. Even the commemorative plaques featuring the names of celebrities who have visited over the years (like Agatha Christie and Greta Garbo) are still there. By contrast, the wooden wall panels are brand new, the dining hall is decorated with old photographs and images from Russia, and the bar resembles a modern cocktail hub where various homemade vodkas are on display.
The menu has also been renewed: Mike Norman says the aim of 1924 is to offer an assortment of classic Russian dishes, so you’ll find traditional eats like borscht soup and chicken Kiev. If you’re looking for small bites, don’t limit yourself to the mezes and starters: the Russian dumplings called pelmeni are also perfectly shareable, especially the variety with leeks and sour cream. According to Mike Norman, the restaurant also drew inspiration from Eastern European cuisine to add color to the menu, as Russian fare on its own might seem a bit too “country” for a restaurant like 1924. The most exciting part of the menu is the dessert section, which includes options like beet ice cream and Crêpe Suzette. Norman and Khan have full faith in their menu but still underscore the fact that 1924 is a place to visit for its historic feel more than its food.
|Venue name:||1924 İstanbul||Contact:|
Olivya Geçidi 7/A