I don’t have a natural appreciation for food. Growing up, my stomach only liked plain food and it was quick to dismiss any other types. So even though there are foods that I love, I would never, ever consider myself an adventurous eater. In my opinion, this trepidatious beginning with my finicky insides has soured me on many of life’s tasting pleasures.
However, I believe the time has come to change this about myself. As I begin to get out there and develop my palate, I am hopeful that at the very least, I will be able to develop a better appreciation for food. In my mind, food and culture go hand-in-hand. I want to experience this side of life in the places that I visit.
And so it is with this in mind that I find myself at a restaurant called Fasuli. If you find yourself in Istanbul and you are on the tram, exit at the Tophane stop. As you look towards the Bosphorus, you will see a beautiful mosque, Kılıç Ali Paşa. Carefully cross the street (the cars don’t stop for you here), and with the mosque on your right-hand side, stroll one block towards the water. On the next corner, you will find this charming establishment.
Once seated, you will notice a formal but comfortable atmosphere that feels like a place you would take for family for a good meal. Please try the stewed bean dish with rice called ‘Kurufasulye and pilav’. Along with this dish, you are also served peppers and onions (which I did not try; baby steps). Oh! Don’t forget the yogurt (yoğurt). Mix it all together and just enjoy. I found this dish to be very tasty, comforting, and filling. All told, I spent about 30tl for my meal; a bit pricey but well worth it.
Also, the location of this restaurant is ideal as sits on the edge of the very on-trend neighborhood called Karaköy. Go down Kılıç Ali Paşa street you will be parallel with the Bosphorus, and pop into a dessert shop called Pim. There are so many delicious treats to choose from but I prefer the chocolate truffle called ‘Klasik Trüf. Trust me on this one.
Although some might not consider beans and rice with yogurt as adventurous, for me it is a perfect kick off to a new beginning!