I came across Saraykapi Tava while strolling around the Elite World Business Hotel where I was staying in the Küçükçekmece suburb of Istanbul on the European shore of the sea of Marmara. The restaurant, one of three branches in Istanbul, is an old fashioned, deliciously old school Turkish eatery famous for its meat dishes, particularly its tava and doner. As you can get doner anywhere in Istanbul, I decided to try the tava, meat cooked on a flattened wok or Indian style tawa.
Before that I ordered two of my favourite starters, spicy Ezme and Patlican Soslu or eggplant salad.
My starters were served with hot flatbread in tow. I tried to wave the bread away on account of the low carb diet I am on, but the waiter insisted…hmm. I tried not to look at the bread, focusing instead on watching my meat being cooked in the open kitchen. The tava was brought out still sizzling and spitting, like a sizzler. It’s made up of bite sized pieces of lamb and a single lamb chop. Halfway through I mixed in some of my eggplant salad to create a masterpiece (the tava is excellent on its own too). If you have not yet had this dish, it really is worth a try.
Service at Saraykapi Tava is friendly, fast and accommodating. No one spoke English yet I was able to order my food without any difficulty (it helped that I could point at the tava and also choose my starters from a mezze tray). My meal was very affordable costing around $12 with tip. If you’re staying in the area, I recommend you give this down to earth eatery a try.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.