11:00 to 00:00 All week
Price Range (p/p)
Medium | R100 - R300
The bohemian lifestyle of Kloof Street in Gardens has always been a hotspot for seekers of cuisine from different cultures. EatStanbul is the latest restaurant to open here, adding some Turkish flavour along this vibey cosmopolitan strip.
We were seated quite easily around 6.30pm on a week night in June. It filled up quite quickly after that so it seemed we just missed the rush hour and may have waited for a table if we were later than that. They had just opened for a month so novelty status would keep them busy for a while. Our waiter seated us at a table I chose for good lighting… blogger hazard, lol. The menu has flavours straight from Istanbul. Traditional mezes, such as hummus and falafel accompanied by Turkish breads. There are also kebabs which are prepared over coal grills and Güveç (seasonal vegetables cooked in a clay pot) as a signature main course. For dessert you can expect a small variety of traditional style sweets like sticky sweet baklava and sütlaç (traditional Turkish rice pudding).
We ordered Corba, a lentil soup starter which I basically swooned over, the spicy flavour hit just the right notes but the bread that accompanied it felt a bit heavy. For the little munchkin we ordered an egg pide which was the closest thing to a simple pizza on the menu and this bread was light and delicious. People with young kids will know how tricky it is to take them to unusual places where you’re not sure if the type of food will go down with them. Thankfully, pides are quite simple and worked out well as he loved it. This is also a great option for a starter for 2 or 3 people. They have pides in a variety of flavours for about R80 each.
The meze you can combine your own at about R45 per item like humus, falafel etc or their platter with a variety on it is R160. For mains we opted for Istanbul Nazik, pan fried beef pieces served over a yoghurt and aubergine puree. I would order this again. The aubergine was creamy and I enjoyed the smokey flavour. I had the Adana, a spicy lamb kebab served with shredded lettuce, carrot and onion on a turkish flatbread. This was accompanied by rice and chips. I encountered this at Saray as well with one of their other dishes. 3 starches on the plate seems like a lot of carbs to me but must be a traditional thing. Mains on average are about R140.
Service was really good. The waiters knew their menu and when I mentioned that my dish seemed dry and could use some kind of garlic sauce, they made an effort to bring me some crushed garlic which I could mix into the mayo on the table. This made a difference to my dish which I enjoyed more this way.
They have a breakfast menu but only open at
For a sweet ending we shared a Turkish rice pudding called Sutlac. It’s served cold and creamy. The little guy had a chocolate milkshake which was thick and tasty. Thankfully not weak like at many places I find lately. And a proper Turkish coffee to end an authentic Turkish meal.
I quite like the modern feel of Eatstanbul while still maintaining a traditional menu and vibe. I think they have got the mix just right.
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