We’ve mentioned the excellent Istanbul Eats website in the past, and now they’ve published a book which is a must-have guide for anyone going to Istanbul.

Actually given the quality of the book and the 12TL price tag, we think it’s worth buying for a good read even if you never actually make use of it.

Clearly lots of people agree as the book was only published this year in mid-July, and is already in its second edition.

It is pocket sized, with colour photography throughout and divides the city into six regions, within which a range of eateries are recommended and described, with pictures, address information, and a simple map.

The writers are two freelance journalists who live in Istanbul and the website, and now this book, are actually works of love and homage to the culinary delights of their adopted city.

They started the website in April 2009 and within a few months were voted ‘Travel Blog of the Month’ by the Guardian.

Since then they have continued to post new features several times each week, which is by no means easy as the Fethiye Times’ team can attest.

Best of all you know that they have actually visited all the venues they recommend, eaten and drunk there on more than one occasion, and convey their enjoyment of it all so well.

We have written before about the wonderful restaurant called Çiya on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Kadiköy.

Here’s part of the Istanbul Eats review of Çiya:

“On one visit we ate a delicious meat stew cooked with bracingly tart unripe green plums, as well as keme, a mushroom found in Anatolia that we like to think of as a Mesopotamian truffle. Cut up in slices and grilled on a skewer, this hearty fungus tastes like an earthy cross between a Portobello mushroom and a very delicate potato.”

You can learn much about Turkish cuisine from reading this book. Despite her over forty years of association with Turkey and fluency in the language, this writer had never heard of ‘keme’ until she read the above.

What’s more the places in the book are not confined to ‘restaurants’ where you would only go for dinner. They actually include everything from street food, establishments serving breakfast only, and baklava makers, to the best Turkish coffee in Istanbul (in a narrow alley off Istiklal Caddesi) and cover types of food you would never encounter in Fethiye – more’s the pity.

So if you are looking for a seasonal stocking filler for a known Turcophile ‘Istanbul Eats’ fits the bill.

It is written by Ansel Mullins and Yigal Schleifer, published by Boyut and ISBN 978-975-23-0720-9. Take this information to the Natur bookshop near Hayal Cinema and they’ll have your copy in a few days – and only 12TL!

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