Once a small boutique in the charming Kuzguncuk, Homemade Aromaterapi and its 100% natural beauty products have come a long way. The local boutique now has stores in the upscale Nisantasi neighbourhood of Istanbul as well as the coastal area of Alsancak. Customers will have a really hard time choosing from their stellar range of products, which includes cold-pressed essential oils, natural deodorant with rose and geranium, lavender and rosemary facial cream, aromatherapy shampoo and conditioner and much more. The boutique also has a men’s care line and hosts regular workshops covering aromatherapy and all its heavenly benefits.
Only open on Thursday and Friday nights for walk-ins, this restaurant transports you back in time, specifically to Istanbul in the 1930s. A glorious speakeasy, SalonCuma is given an elegant vibe of yesteryear by antique objects and furnishings, with excellent cocktails to match. This outfit also has a bespoke private events space that’s available for booking. Come by and celebrate an intimate dinner, anniversary or a birthday while enjoying the ambience.
The talented chef Pinar Tasdemir, who has worked at some of Istanbul’s most prestigious fine-dining institutions, has finally opened her very own place. Tucked away on a side street in the beautiful Bosphorus coast neighbourhood of Yenikoy, there’s something quite Nordic about the restaurant’s minimalist interior. The menu, however, is firmly Aegean and a bit experimental which comprises intriguing creations such as lionfish served with fennel and peach bisque; or sutlac (rice pudding) with vanilla and edible flowers.
Hiding in plain sight, Murat Pilevneli’s second eponymous art gallery in Istanbul is housed in a former liqueur and cognac factory that was built by the French Modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens in the 1930s. The works of contemporary artists from Turkey and abroad are exhibited in a building sporting gorgeous Art Deco details and wide-open spaces flooded with plenty of natural light. Pilevneli’s first gallery in the Dolapdere district is also worth a mention because of its equally stunning architecture, completed by award-winning Emre Arolat Architecture in 2017.
There was nothing very gourmet about Turkish street food until Alaf Kuruçeşme opened in the Kurucesme neighbourhood and took it upscale. In a modern dining room with a view of the Bosphorus, classic dishes are given a modern twist. For instance, the kokorec (chopped and spiced lamb intestines) – which is reinterpreted as a sumptuous burger with a brioche bun, avocado sauce, sumac, red onion and parsley. The menu is heavily influenced by the nomadic life, with dishes being prepared in a wood oven. During the day, the restaurant also has a casual eatery downstairs that serves a smaller daily menu of delicious gourmet street eats.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine and updated on 30 March 2021.