/Kantin's Köfte Ekmek

Kantin's Köfte Ekmek

I stubbornly refuse to bring a map with me when I leave the house, convinced the only way to learn Istanbul is to get lost. This tactic has been fruitful at times, but today at noon, all I wanted was to eat at Kantin, a place I have been obsessing over (based on what little I can understand from the menu), yet I couldn’t find it. The map I had created in my mind’s eye based on Google Maps doesn’t exactly conform to the actual layout of Nişantaşı so I wandered around in circles for about 30 minutes, becoming increasingly annoyed with myself with each successive lap around Teşvikiye Camii. Just when I was about to throw in the towel and buy simit from a street vendor, Kantin magically appeared. I climbed the stairs to the dining room and took a seat in the non-smoking area beside the large windows. I ordered Köfte Ekmek, grilled lamb meatballs drizzled with a spiced yogurt sauce and laid out on bread. I mostly ordered it because I couldn’t recognize any of the other dishes (in spite of the fact that I had spent the morning studying the menu on the website) but I am so glad I did. The flavors of the meat and the yogurt mingled together perfectly. At the end of the meal, Chef Şemsa Denizsel greeted me and said she would help me with the menu the next time. When I told her I would be back tomorrow, I wasn’t kidding. I have a feeling Kantin will become a fixture on Parla Food this month!

2016-01-08T12:09:49+00:00 March 3rd, 2009|Categories: Istanbul, Meat, Restaurants, Turkish Cuisine|7 Comments


  1. Mama Parla March 3, 2009 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    yummy – lamb meatballs are soooo good – i like the idea of having a spicy yogurt sauce drizzled on top!

  2. Katie March 4, 2009 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    These were really good although I have yet to taste anything (köfte or otherwise) that beats Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi on Divan Yolu 12 near Hagia Sofia.

  3. Austin March 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I looovvvve Kofte and have ever since a friend of mine made it for me. Thanks for pointing out Kantin, I’ll keep that in my back pocket for the day we visit Istanbul.

  4. Katie March 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Definitely do visit Kantin, Austin. They have a take away place under the restaurant which is quite popular as well. Afiyet oslun!

  5. Kantin in Nişantaşı April 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    […] March 4th, 2009 « Food Photo of the Day: Kantin’s Köfte Ekmek Istanbul Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Gaziantep […]

  6. o2 November 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    what a great website! since you seem to love kofte I wanted to suggest 2 different chains you can try next time you are in istanbul. 1) hain kofte (translates mean kofte – because they are addictive) is a favorite with plaza people of levent area 2) kirkpinar koftecisi (malkara peynir tatlisi dessert is a must have – a mixture of semolina with a creamy cottage cheese). My God, even the yoghurt there is stg else, so creamy you cut through it – guess has buffalo milk in it).

    getting hungry just writing about it!

    • Katie November 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      thanks, 02! they are now on my list! that yogurt sounds great.

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