Konyali Restaurant, Istanbul


The Konyali Restaurant is located within the Topkapi Palace grounds, with a vantage point that allows one to savor a meal, sitting on the European continent, while staring at the side of Istanbul that is on the Asian continent. Fabulous view of the water and beyond. And locals told us to check out the restaurant despite it being in the midst of one of the most visited tourist sites in Turkey. After touring the Harem, we were famished, and it was well past our lunch time, so we headed straight to the restaurant, and opted for a table with a view, rather than the fast food sandwich or buffet bar. We ordered simply, but were more than satisfied with the dishes that arrived for a mid-afternoon lunch…


The menu was a short one, featuring some classic Turkish dishes, many of which were unfamiliar to us, particularly on this first day of our visit to Turkey. The one thing I did notice is that the dishes seemed a bit more “complicated” than Greek cooking, and there was a lot more prep work, ingredients, etc. involved in many of the dishes…


We had a stunnig view of the Bosphorous and the Asian continent beyond, through just a bit of haze. One of the coolest bits of trivia we learned during the trip was that the waters did not rise and fall with the tides in this part of the world, the water levels pretty much stayed the same. Hmmm, not sure why that is so, and if it makes sense, but it was repeated to us often during our stay…


I ordered a dish filled with appetizers such as a green bean salad, stuffed grape leaves, an eggplant dish and a stuffed green bell pepper. This is the local version of mezze, I suppose and it was delicious. Served cold, and with a bread basket filled with interesting breads, it was the perfect meal for me on a warm afternoon. Mrs. Marketman had a meat pie of some sort, which was okay, and The Kid needed something familiar so she opted for a bowl of spaghetti. :)


Savory pies are a big deal in this part of the world and while delicious, I need to eat more of them to consider them a meal, rather than a hearty snack!


And for dessert and tea, which we did not have, this charming woman in native costume graciously served the classic apple tea… Overall it was a bit pricey, but with the view factored in, reasonable value. I would recommend a light meal or snack here if you happen to be visiting the Topkapi Palace!

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6 Responses

  1. MMMMMM, Turkish Meat Pie (MINA in Turkish). MM, please experiment with a Filipino version containing adobo as the filling and instead of sesame seeds sprinkled on top, I’d like to see fried minced garlic, adobo flakes, or a combination!!!!

    I think the reason that a lot of Turkish restaurant food require a bit more preparation is that these are dishes originating during the Ottoman Empire, which had a great culinary tradition. When I was in Istanbul, I was taken to the Asitane Restaurant which specializes in Imperial Ottoman cuisine. It had completely escaped my mind to mention this establishment to you when you were soliciting suggestions about your trip to Turkey. BTW, here is their website:


    We were the only non-Turkish speaking table that night, so it’s not as touristy as Konyalı, although the view at Konyalı on a clear & sunny day is definitely impressive.

    Afiyet olsun!

  2. Hi MM & Family–I have a lot of catch up reading to do. I’ve already reached the April archives..almost there. You’ll obviously have fun in Turkey & I look forward to reading all about it. Still getting to know the best places to shop (provedores) in Melbourne & understanding the nuances of Aussie language & colloquialism, being more at home with formal American & British English.

    In the meantime, I came across this site which might help a lot of our compatriots abroad:


  3. gosh MM, i miss Istanbul, the food was amazing. although I didn’t dine anywhere as pricey as this, our student guides showed us the best places for cheap chow ;-)

    hm, one of my profs had an alfresco lunch somewhere near topkapi and his stuff got stolen. sad.

  4. We just arrived home from Greece Istanbul. Our terrific tour guide, Aylin Kanat, took us to the Konyali and we had an excellent meal, besides one outstanding view. We had an assortment of kabob, lamb, chicken, rice, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. For dessert, we had delicious vanilla pudding. We also had very good vanilla pudding at the Doce restaurant, at the entrance to the Grand Bazaar. Go to our blogspot at: http://www.marcanita.blogspot.com and check it out.

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