"Beautiful surroundings, forgettable food."
Barely recovered from the soul-crushing discovery that Nato was closed -basically the only reason for the ferry ride over to Karakoy- we panicked and had to formulate a Plan B. I beseeched google maps in all its confusing glory and discovered that Karakoy Lokantasi was just around the corner, a restaurant name-dropped by a host of celebrities and chefs.
Never one to follow the crowd, there were not many options and the sun was beating down, so we opted to give it a whirl. Shade was found in the patio area by some tall bushes. The menu was perused, dishes ordered and hunger began announcing its intentions.
A spread was brought before us and we tucked in, dish by dish, allowing each one time to show us its magic. The service was attentive and not annoying. Sparkling water was poured into tall glasses and thirst's were quenched.
Taking a step back and monitoring the meal as a whole, it would be safe to say that nothing stood out. Everything was cooked well, seasoned well and presented nicely, but nothing popped with the excitement that would bring you back weekly or monthly. It all felt a little bit safe and stationary.
I would have liked my kebabs to be moister, the salads to have more acid, the beans to be seasoned more aggressively and the pea dish was missing zing. Of all the plates, the tzatziki was the most rounded in terms of execution, and that's saying something.
Would I come back? Probably not. Especially if Nato around the corner is all it's cracked up to be, then I'd stick to walking past on my way for coffee in the small outlying alleyways.
Karakoy Lokantasi may have a loyal clientele, but for me, it just missed the mark.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"