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In the interest of full disclosure I will put it right out there: Kantin’s chef Şemsa Denizsel is a close friend and I am writing this post from the comfort of her home. In other words, this won’t exactly be my standard anonymous review. That said, I loved Şemsa’s cooking and bold personality long before our friendship blossomed and I am not the only journalist obsessed with her food. And you can hardly blame us. If you eat at Kantin, the restaurant in Nişantaşı, or at the brand new Kantin Dükkan in Bebek, I doubt you will find our judgement biased, but rather appropriately reverent.

The food at Kantin is some of the best in Istanbul the world. The fiercely seasonal dishes, spectacular breads made with heritage wheats and commitment to teaching have led Şemsa to be dubbed the “Alice Waters of Turkey”. But never fear, Kantin doesn’t serve elitist Kool-Aid, just excellent nose-to-tail and farm-to-table dishes.

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At Kantin Dükkan, which opened in Bebek on April 4, you will find some of the same prepared foods, baked goods and sauces that are sold at the Dükkan beneath the restaurant in Nişantaşı. But the Bebek location also serves breakfast, filter coffee, homemade ginger ale and sandwiches, which can be enjoyed at benches outside. This morning I ate a delectable grilled cheese made with kaşar, pickled red onions and mustard on sourdough.

Kantin Dukkan is open seven days a week Mon-Sat from 8:30am until 8:00pm. Breakfast is served until 10:30am. The shop is located opposite the Bebek Park at Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No: 43/C.

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