The old ‘8 Istanbul’ is now ‘SekizIstanbul’. If you remember 8 for its timber shutters and Thai motifs, then SekizIstanbul’s simple white décor is likely to seem a great deal more cheerful. But the changes aren’t limited to appearance: the kitchen and management have both been overhauled by Maksut Aşkar, whom some of you might recall as the chef and founding partner of LilBitz. At the new and improved SekizIstanbul, every table has a clear view of the open kitchen – which only heightens the anticipation of trying to see what the chef will concoct next.
It’s difficult to choose from the menu of almost 40 dishes, but the categories help make life a little easier: on your feet, shared dishes, from the pizza oven, world classics, local classics and signature flavours. If you’re in a hurry, the fresh herb and butter-crusted crispy mussels (14 TL) from the ‘on your feet’ category are a must-try, though if you’ve got a bit of time and several people to share with, the chicken liver paté marinated in lavender olive oil, served with slow-cooked octopus and smoked entrecote, is a dish you’ll regret not tasting (23 TL). On our visit, the menu featured pink tomatoes prominently, which, according to the chef, are natural-grown and thus removed from the menu when they aren’t in season – which means you’ve got a limited amount of time to try the classic fusilli bolognaise with beef neck slow-cooked in wine and pink tomato sauce (23 TL).
Among SekizIstanbul’s signature dishes, the enpe salad with mung beans, green apple and horseradish cream (19 TL) is an extraordinary find. All the sauces served are prepared in Sekiz’s kitchen and don’t contain preservatives. Sekizistanbul has taken a stance against force-feeding and thus chooses to use chicken liver instead of goose in their recipes. Their consciousness of their responsibility to animals doesn’t end there: leftover food is also packaged and sent to animal shelters.
Kuloğlu Mahallesi, Erol Dernek Sokak 1, Beyoğlu
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 12.00-23.00. Bar: Wed-Sat 23.00-04.00|