Arayıcıbaşı Sokak, the main drag of bars and restaurants in Kadıköy, now boasts an Iranian cafe, Mişa, named after the proprietor’s beloved dog. Mişa’s interior has an antique feel with its stone walls and weathered tables and chairs, all designed by the café’s owner, Iranian sculptor Babek Sobhi. The talented artist also made the beer and wine glasses used at Mişa.
Stepping into the cafe, the smell of incense and the sounds of jazz create an exotic atmosphere, and the expectation of an enticing meal. Babek Bey brings his mother’s home-cooked recipes to Istanbul, and sometimes even calls her up in Iran to get new specialty dishes to add a fresh twist to the menu, which has helpful descriptions for those who aren’t familiar with Iranian cuisine. Like Ottoman cooking, Iranian food utilises both fresh and dried ingredients (think patlıcan dolma). The menu has ample varieties of meat and chicken, and the meat for the Iranian kebab (served with rice, 15 TL) is brought in specially from Balıkesir. Also recommended is zereşk polo, a saffron-spiced chicken dish served with rice and featuring zereşk, a dried berry reminiscent of a currant (18 TL). Each meal comes with mixed vegetables that have been pickled in vinegar for three hours. Non-Iranian dishes such as chicken schnitzel and spaghetti are also available for the less adventurous, but where’s the fun in that?
Caferağa Mahallesi, Bahariye Caddesi, Arayıcıbaşı Sokak 2B
|Opening hours:||Daily 10.00-23.00|