Once you're walking pass A'Pera, you will notice this cute restaurant that has forks and knives hanging from its awnings. Once you go inside, however, you find a whole different world of antiquated wooden floors, wooden chairs, old grand couches and impressive Istanbul photographs on the walls, taken by artist Suat Küçükaydın (these are also available for sale)... The section where drinks are prepared has tall ceilings and a calm, if somewhat overbearing, feel – perfect for a two- or threehour escape. A fedora hangs on the door to the men’s bathroom and an elegant woman’s hat, which looks as though it belongs to a Pera resident of long, long ago, hangs on the ladies’. These are the kinds of details that give A’Pera an authentically ‘old Istanbul’ feel. Moving past to reach the outdoors, we’re even more delighted to see an Istanbul silhouette and seagulls made of metal lining the garden walls.
We have reviewed the restaurant when it was so new and the menu was called an ‘Introduction Menu’. We think this might also be why they offer the breakfast plate, omelettes, eggs and menemen (a Turkish dish made with eggs, roasted onions, tomatoes and green peppers) all day long. When we look at the menu, it’s a mix of international fare, but they’re especially ambitious when it comes to the pizza and meat at A’Pera. As we’re waiting on our dishes to come out, we sip on lemonade, which is made fresh with lemon essence – perfect for those who don’t like it too sugary and prefer a tangier, more refreshing taste. As an appetizer, we try the calf bacon and sausage. Based on the three pieces of sausage on our plate, we’ve got to warn you: don’t expect a big plate full of sausages. Though we also admit that the dried apples and fennel in the sausages lent them a delicious taste. Next, we try the Aegean pizza, made with tomato sauce, both mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, cherry tomatoes, spinach and olives. Good news for those watching their weight during bikini season: they can also make the pizzas with wheat dough. The entrees incorporate a little bit of everything, from külbastı (Turkish dish made with veal steak) to dryaged T-bone steak and even New York steak. We order the A’Pera steak with a demi glace sauce, served on a bed of four-cheese risotto. When we asked to have it mediumrare, the steak came out just that: medium-rare, with a pink centre. As for dessert, we order a delicious chocolate soufflé served in a small cup.
If you’re not the type to be incredibly bothered by mosquitoes, we recommend enjoying your food in the garden. With its meals that don’t disappoint, as well as its quiet and calm atmosphere, we think that A’Pera is just the type of place to grab a book or newspaper and go. Recommended.
From the menu
Calf bacon and sausage plate 15 TL
Aegean pizza 18 TL
A’Pera steak 28 TL
Chocolate soufflé 12 TL
Nergis Sokak 8/1
|Opening hours:||Daily 09.00-02.00.|