We were looking for romantic place to have a dinner, and we wanted to experience Turkish culture in modern way. Neolokal was one of the places that came into our minds.
The restaurant locates in Galata region, very close to Galata Tower. It is inside of historic building · SALT Galata· which also has museum, art gallery, and research venue. It is very easy to reach by public transportation, and also has vale service.
It has a romantic view to Eminonu seashore, a historical sea shore that all orientalist painters painted during their times in Constantinopolis.
We decided to have a tasting menu, and wine pairing along the way.
The tasting menu was different than other restaurants, because it was menu to share, you have to choose 10 plates to share among 15 plates.
They give you in the beggining the story of the restaurant, and menu. It was really nice idea, because you can follow what you are tasting with a story behind it.
We started with Turkish Bubbly wine, and home-made butter with tarragon, and bear mushroom powder, and parsley oil. It is served with sour dough bread with poppy seeds, which was very high in fat, thus it had very crispy crust.
Surprisingly, there was no amuse bouche, which you generally start with small to take you slowly into experience of degustation.
The plates served two by two, our first plates were cold starters.
- Hummus and Anatolian Landscapes
Hummus is one of the typical meze, you can taste through eastern regions. In this plate they tried you take you through Anatolian mountain with colors of Anatolian region, that symbolize old Spice route through Mesopotomia. It was creamy, with a little bit absence of salt, and acidity. It would have been nice to serve this with some bread or pita.
2. Raki & Kavun & Peynir
Literally, Raki (national turkish drink like anise) is drinked with melon, and cheese, fresh nuts. This is a really nice idea that helps you to understand how turkish people enjoys the mezes taverns. Mezes are little starters that people eats at evenings while enjoying the atmosphere of the streets with company of friends and Raki.
These two dishes were paired with the same bubbly wine from Turkey.
3. Beans, Salicorn, and Shrimps
This is also elaborated meze idea into modern way. It takes green beans, salicornia, bread crumbs, garlic, and walnut tarator sauce, sour cherries, shrimps, and shrimp stock in gelatine way. it was intersting to eat shrimp with sour cherries.
4. Octopus Gambilya
Gambilya legumes is made as Fava meze, served with grilled octopus, croutons,pickled onion, and salsa.
These two dishes served with Pasaeli white wine. It was very fresh, and high level of acidity.
This is a traditional meatball recipe, elaborated with free-range chicken, and smoked vveal fat, it served with mashed potato, pepper sauce, yoghurt, mint powder, and crispy potato hair. It was a little bit comfort food way of plate, a little bit salt was absent.
6. Icli Kofte
It is a traditional meatball, which you can find in east-south regional restaurants of Turkey. Traditionally you can eat it fried or boiled. They made bulgur as paste, and then after baked or dried, with minced mint with spices and nuts, and served with mint yoghhurt. It was dry, and chewy, meat had nice flavour with a little bit absence of salt.
These two dishes served with red wine Kabatepe, coupage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Karasakiz.
7. Lamb Muntancana
It is one of the palace dishes of Sultan, lamb cooked with dry fruits, served with smoked wheat freekah, orange skins, Yedikule lettuce grilled. It was really sweet, and really flavourful.
8. Katmer & Tirit
Tirit is one of the traditional dishes in Anatolia, very soaky, and soft beef, served with phyllo pastry called Katmer, and various colors of yoghurt. It was different, but expected katmer will be more crispy.
These two dishes served with Satomet Cabernet Sauvignon. It was very tangent, and spicy wine, reminded a little bit of Chianti.
Traditional dense chocolate ganachelike, served with Sahlep which is also traditonal Turkish drink, made with milk and orchid genus, croutonns, pistachio, pomegranete flower dust, milk skin crouton. It was really delicious.
It is a soaked cake dessert, flavoured with coconut cream, rosemary flavoured ice-cream, poppy seeds cream, and coconut merengue. Poppy seeds cream was interesting, overall nice combination of a dish.
These two dessert were served with a sweet wine from Corvus.
Overall, it was a nice romatic dinner with a nice view, interesting dishes, and plenty of wine. Pricing is a little bit expensive for Istanbul, but it is fair price for a degustation menu.
Sharing Tasting Menu: 350 tl/ 87,5 Euros
Wine Pairing for Two: 240 tl /60 Euros
Water: 9 tl/ 2,25 Euros
It is easy to reach;
You can come with metro, getting out at Sishane station, and walking down to Galata Tower.
You can come with tram, getting out at Karakoy, and 5 minutes walking towards Galata tower.
Karaköy 34420 İstanbul Türkiye