When you enter the eatery, there’s a small section, close to the kitchen, overlooking the avenue. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the entirety of the restaurant, as you’ll find a long table in the back that’s perfect for groups. Nişantaş Menu has an elegant atmosphere, yet its biggest ammunition is the garden on the lower floor. Surrounded by trees and greenery, this is sure to be an answer to your prayers during the hot summer months in Istanbul. When it comes to the food, only the best is used; part of the menu is also classified as ‘organic’, with the ingredients for this section coming from the Aegean region. One of the organic options is the breakfast plate; other breakfast items include eggs, omelettes and even a fruit plate. You’ll be able to enjoy breakfast any hour of the day, starting at 08.00 – perfect for night owls who work late into the evening and wake up past noon, still wanting to eat breakfast. There are also eight soups on the menu, two of which (the broccoli and veggie soups) are organic. We tried the cheesy spinach and artichoke soup, which is, of course, delicious. No additives are used, and the artichokes swim inside the perfectly-balanced dish. The homemade mantı (a Turkish raviolilike dish with minced meat) and pastas include mantı with a grilled veggie sauce, oven-baked mantı with stock and walnut noodles with tulum cheese. Another essential item of Turkish cuisine, olive oil dishes include artichoke with fava beans and shelled broad beans, kısır (cracked wheat salad with olive oil) and stuffed grape leaves. The grilled eggplant with black eyed peas had a little too much olive oil for our taste.
Very little salt is used in the dishes, which is good news for those trying to cut down on their sodium intake. As for the grills and entrees, the Ankara döner is a good find; no minced meat is used in this dish, only meat. The Bodrum köfte (meat patties), served with butter and pita bread, and the grilled, dry-aged steak are some other tasty options. The drumstick shish, marinated with yogurt, is flavourful, but we’ll warn you that it automatically comes medium-rare. You can order artichoke pilaf, grilled vegetables and a plate of pickles with your grilled entrees. The desserts are also tantalising, with a variety of sütlaç (Turkish rice pudding) interpretations such as the Tiramisu sütlaç. It’s just sweet enough. They’ve also put a Turkish twist on cheesecake, changing both the name and the recipe. The peynirli kek (‘cheese cake’) is made not only with labne cheese but incorporates several other cheeses they guard as a secret, as well. Top your meal off with the Süvari coffee, as we did. The story behind this drink belongs to the süvari (cavalrymen) who used to drink their Turkish coffee with a tea glass during the Ottoman era.
The service was somewhat rushed when we were there, yet we’ll give them the benefit of doubt and hope to find a more peaceful atmosphere on our next visit. Nişantaş Menu also offers catering service and an opportunity for young graduates of culinary schools to get real-time kitchen experience. It’s new, but it looks as though this Nişantaşı eatery will make great contributions to the natural and healthy Turkish cuisine scene in the city.
From the menu
Organic breakfast plate 16 TL
Cheesy spinach and artichoke soup 6 TL
Oven-baked mantı with stock 16 TL
Grilled vegetables 7 TL
Tiramisu sütlaç 7 TL
|Venue name:||Nişantaş Menu|
Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, Bostan Sokak 13
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 11.00-23.00.|