15 Oct

Istanbul Restaurant and Bar
900 Huaihai Zhong Lu (淮海中路900号B楼B1)
Shanghai, China

PRICE: 元元元

We randomly stumbled onto Istanbul Restaurant and Bar whilst walking along the busy Huaihai Road one day. It’s tucked away in an empty building, in the basement. Man, talk about an obscure location! But since we haven’t had much Turkish food before, we were pretty interested to try it out. Surprisingly, the restaurant was really big on the inside, completely decked out and draped with Turkish curtains, kitsch chandeliers and lots of glitz and glam. Quite a cool experience, and it was a good idea of them to really deck it out, since there are no windows and natural light in the restaurant.

I really liked the large, cushioned chairs.. almost like small sofas. I’m used to the regular crappy ‘ol plastic chairs that most cheaper places have here in Shanghai, or chairs that are stained and half falling apart. This was a nice change. The service was really attentive, though they didn’t speak a word of English (and I assume, Turkish as well). We actually had no clue what to order so just randomly picked dishes, deciding to take our chances.

The Eggplant in yoghurt (note all these dishes had Turkish names, but I forgot!) was excellent. It’s salad-style, so the eggplant is a little chilled, sitting under a huge dollop of creamy natural yoghurt and a small scoop of salsa. It was delicious. The eggplant was tender and fresh, and tasted great with the plain and slightly tart yoghurt. It went very well with the warm Turkish bread served alongside the dish.

Our next dish was the Chicken and mushrooms in cheese. It had a lovely sounding name, but that’s really what it was ;) Chunks of tender chicken, lots of mushrooms (sadly, these looked like button mushrooms out of the can. Would have preferred an assortment of fresh field mushrooms), and smothered with cheese. Chris pointed out that it was basically “pizza without the base”, and it was true. Very very tasty though, albeit a little on the salty side.

And of course a Kebab dish. Thin flat bred with shredded meat, however the meat was on the dry side so I ended up dipping it in the yoghurt dish. I felt like the meat had sat there for awhile before they shredded it, and would’ve preferred the meat way more moist. However, their butter rice was outstanding. Rich and creamy and tasty, the only downside was that the portion of it was so small!

It’s a nice restaurant to go with friends, since the interior is pretty unique and so is the food. However, it was pretty pricey for what you get, as the dishes were on the small side. I’m keen to go back to try the other dishes, though!

Istanbul Restaurant and Bar

Eggplant in yoghurt

Chicken and mushrooms in cheese

Kebab dish

Luxe interior

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Posted by on 15 October 2009 (Thu) in Shanghai food reviews, Uncategorized



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