A crowd-pleaser – The House Café, Istanbul Turkey

I hardly do any research on my holiday destinations. The most that I would do is to read up on the hotels that I’m going to stay.  Other than that, it’s a journey of adventure and discovery. I guess I have been lucky most of the times when it comes to food.  Some of these cafés and restaurants have become my must-go-to places when I return to the city.  One of them is The House Café in Istanbul, Turkey.

I remember very clearly how I discovered The House Café last year. It was about 3pm and I just wanted to find a rest area after walking down the busy Istiklal Street. My partner and I walked past The House Café and were attracted by its modern interior decoration. We were a bit hesitant because there were not many people in it.  Nevertheless, we took the risk and it paid off. We ended up visiting three different The House Cafés when we were in Istanbul last year.

The House Cafe

Last month, we were back in Istanbul and we had to go to The House Café at Istiklal Street. The familiar surrounding is very reassuring.  The café still has the contemporary edgy feel to it and the energy level is high.  Nothing has changed except that this time, we walked in with a clearer mind.

The menu is so extensive that we didn’t get to try all the dishes during the previous trip. Hence, we decided to be a bit more adventurous with our choice of food this time.

Grilled Beef Salad

The Grilled Beef Salad (TRY 37) is a great appetiser. The slices grilled beef is lightly seasoned, well-flavoured and tender. I love how the roasted pine nuts give the salad extra crunch and texture. The mustard sauce is a nice dressing to go with the beef salad. It’s great for meat-eaters like me because I get the greens that I need and the meat that I love.

Diet Chicken & Black Quinoa

For the super-health conscious, the Diet Chicken & Black Quinoa (TRY 32) is an excellent choice and it cannot get any better.  The grilled chicken breast is lean, succulent and tender. It is accompanied with a generous serving of roasted seasonal vegetables and lentil sprouts. It’s simple yet delectable.

Roasted Sea Bass and Wild Rice

However, the Roasted Sea Bass and Wild Rice is not as impressive. The stale sea bass spoilt what could have been a great dish. But I love the tasty wild rice.  It’s supposed to be an accompanied side but it totally overshadows the fish.

Homemade Strawberry Tart

I have sweet tooth and a meal is not complete if I do not have my dessert.  Unfortunately, the Homemade Strawberry Tart (Try 15) did not blow me away.  Although the presentation looks great, the taste is so-so and uninspiring.

But despite some shortcomings, The House Café is generally a great café that serves a wide variety of food. There will be something for everyone.  It’s hard not to like this place. It’s not the cheapest place in town but it’s definitely one of the better ones in Istanbul.

The House Café
?stiklal Caddesi M?s?r Apt. No: 163 Beyo?lu ?stanbul
Tel: 0212 251 7991

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