For me, the countdown to Çekirdek’s opening began when I noticed a giant white coffee cup visible through black metal bars at the end of my street. Finally, in mid-December, the shutters were removed to reveal a tiny coffee shop with a total of five tables.
As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by Salih Özgürer, a member of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe who studied to become a pastry chef at MSA before working in the eating and drinking sectors both here and in London. The flour, sugar, coffee and other ingredients lined up on the wall serve to make Çekirdek more of a kitchen where you can watch him at work than a soulless coffee joint.
As tempting as the fresh strawberry tart (7 TL), oversized brownie and slices of New York cheesecake (7 TL) and pumpkin cake (6 TL) were, I stuck to a simple tomato, cucumber and cheese sandwich to go with my full flavoured latte.
The coffee beans sourced by Istanbul-based Kahve Fabrikası are ground and roasted fresh, served at a reasonable price of 4.5 TL for a medium latte. You’ll also find Turkish coffee, hot chocolate made with 100-percent Belgian chocolate (medium 5 TL), tea and chai tea latte. Here’s to hoping there are more savoury options in the future.
Caferağa Mahallesi, Şair Latifi Sokak 9/A
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 06.30-20.00; Sat 08.00-20.00; Sun 11.00-20.00.|