Kantin’s Köfte Ekmek

Written by Katie Parla on March 3, 2009

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!

Keep Reading


Join Me on the Food of the Italian South Book Tour!


Tasting Rome Giveaway…And This Time It’s Global!


Settimio’s Montblanc