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  • Writer's pictureKay Redrup

Little Gems

On a little side road, off, what I call the crossroads of Hades is a little gem. Situated in Emininou near the Spice Bazaar Lezzet-i Sark has the best icli koftas in town. What is an icli kofta (kibbeh to some), for those not in the know, It's a stuffed fried appetizer. The shell is made from burger which is hollowed out and filled with spiced meat and walnuts. What makes Lezzet0i-Sark's icli kofta's the best in the city? The thinnest of the outer casing, almost paper thin, allowing more space for the filling. Now, exactly where is it? Kalcin Sk. 10A 34116 Fatih Istanbul Turkey

Avoid the area on a Saturday afternoon because of the crowds shopping around the spice market. Being caught in the crossroads of Hades is an experience akin to drowning in water. 4 exiting walkways converge just by one of the doors of the Spice Bazaar. Crowds push to file out and if you are not careful (or small) you could become wedged and taken to a direction you had not planned. The restaurant is about halfway down the street where the famous coffee seller is on the corner (still queues of people there daily). On your way you might want to shop for nuts and cheese, chocolate and Christmas decorations (during the seasons).

The 2nd gem I only learned about the other day. It's a coffee place with a vibe. Run/owned by a Columbian and buzzing all the time with the young crowd. The decor is a bit strange, but I accept it's contemporary and pulls in the crowd the owner was aiming for. There are jail like cubicles inside with low seating and even handcuffs. Kissing couples tend to occupy these illusions of privacy. But nice to have all that oxytocin floating around. There are places to work on laptops, seating outside for those wishing to enjoy the outdoors (and don't mind clouds of smoke from cigarets wafting over. Above the coffee shop is a drama school and close by a small theatre. I suspect most of the crowd comes from these two places. The allure is also reasonably priced coffee, which offers laktoz free milk and vegan milk (presumably oat, soy or almond). They do lunch. It's a set menu and changes daily. And I suspect sells out fairly quickly. Location: Cihangir. I'm thrilled to see a place buzzing with business and offering a coffee that isn't as crazily priced as other places in Cihangir that range from 45-70tl. Here I got a mug of laktoz free late for 25tl. (that's today's price, anyway).

Oh and the name - Mundo.

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