Asian Istanbul

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If you’re anything like me and can’t spend a week without enjoying some Chinese or Japanese food, then you might find the following restaurants interesting. When I first moved to Istanbul four years ago, it was hard finding Asian food but now it’s so hype that you can even find sushi at most shopping malls.

Wagamama
Situated in the Kanyon shopping mall, Wagamama serves noodle and rice dishes that will make your mouth water and your palate feel in heaven. Beware, the flavours and spices used in these delightful dishes are addictive, you will be left wanting for more! The approximate price for a dish is around 15YTL.

Sushi&Noodle House
This small underground Sushi restaurant is my favourite in town. The freshly prepared sushis are exquisite and are guaranteed to leave you satisfied. The prices are much better than the rest of the Sushi restaurants in town. I’ve always found the S&N House to be more authentic than the rest which always makes my experience there very enjoyable. (I swear I’m not being paid for these comments ;))

Dragon
The Hiltons in house sushi palace is well known amongst celebrities and socialites alike. I’ve personally never been but I hear it’s nice and overpriced, whatever floats your boat.

Sushi&Co – Chinese in Town
This chain of Chinse food & Sushi are located in Nişantaşı and Kanyon (there might also be one on the Asian side) seems to be the most famous place to eat such foods. I’ve been a couple of times and apart from their overpriced sushi, I haven’t really enjoyed myself. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got the whole decoration thing right but the food wasn’t as good as it should have been for the price we ended up paying.

Wan-na
Situated in Beyoglu, Wan-na is definitely one of the favourite asian-fusion venues in the city. They shy away from the classic chinese restaurant decoration to offer you a more valuable experience. Live DJs spin their tracks while you try dishes that you are guaranteed not to find anywhere else. This is a definite must-try location!

Cin Bufe
When I found the Cin Bufe with my friends a couple of years ago I was so very excited. We went a couple of times and then life happened and I didn’t go for a couple of months. When I did return to it though, I must say that the word disappointed doesn’t even start to explain how I felt. The food had become extremly salty and the vent system was terrible so we all ended up smelling like Cantonese ducks. It was such a shame. It’s always sad to see places full of promise sink due to high demand.

Little China
All those who live or love Bebek like I do will know of Little China. An adorable little restaurant with a friendly staff that serves quality food. You must try their Pekin Duck, it’s one of the best in town!

I know there are a couple more in Istanbul and maybe they don’t come to mind but in my humble opinion, I feel that these are the ones worth a mention. Enjoy!


Sleet and Snow

Weather forecast: sleet showers and snow today and tomorrow.
Fact: İstanbul’s weather is radically unpredictable.
Another fact: Different weather conditions can be seen in different parts of İstanbul. Even in adjoining neighborhoods weather conditions differ: sunny next to snowy-that’s not even a bit surprising for İstanbul.
Another fact: İstanbul covered with snow is beautiful…So beautiful that it cannot be described. Yet snowy İstanbul is troublesome (to put it mildly).

So enjoy the snow…and be careful…

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Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide attack

Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack a couple of hours ago. Please check the frequent updates on the Metblogs Islamabad page. Our hearts go out to her family and country.

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Prof. BARBIE ZELIZER’s Talk: “Taking Journalism Seriously”

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The Media and Communication Systems Department cordially invites you to

Prof. BARBIE ZELIZER’s Talk

“Taking Journalism Seriously” at 2:00 p.m. at AKO Kuştepe on December 17

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Alternative city map of Istanbul…

Have a look at this site whose manifesto I quote here:

M A N I F I E S T O

We are currently working on an alternative city map for Istanbul. Our main aim is to make the different aspects of overall urban renovation processes clear, visualizing the major actors, motives, motivations and results of these processes on a map.

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“Demystifying the Turkish meyhane

Susan Fowler of IHT published a piece on the meyhane culture in Istanbul.
And there is also a video on the culture of rakı

According to old school, traditional meyhanes are disappearing too fast. There is also a generational shift. Pub like places are more popular, beer replaces rakı for many young people and of course there is fast-food context. Meyhane wants us to spend a longer time around and although we are not very efficient in our temporal arrangement, we do not like to spend so much time for the food… (and money of course, unfortunately, meyhane owners like to overcharge….)


“Istanbul reclaims its spot….

as one of the world’s great cities, writes Brendan Shanahan.

LIKE Rome or Cairo, Istanbul is one of the world’s eternal cities. For almost 2000 years – first as the capital of the Roman Empire, then as the centre of Byzantium and, finally, as the jewel of the Ottomans – it has sat on the Bosphorus straits, bridging Asia and Europe………….

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Another Film Festival:)

6th International Comedy Films Festival is in İstanbul between 23-27 November.
The sections of this festival are: “The Most Serious Comedy Film Competition” “Family Comedies” “American Indies” “Europe Laughs” “What Made Us Laugh” and “Tribute to Şener Şen”
The festival venues are Cinebonus Maçka G-Mall Cinemas, Beyoğlu Alkazar Cinemas and Institute Français d’Istanbul theatres.
You can find more information here

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Bergman: In Memoriam at İstanbul Modern

Ingmar Bergman films are being screened at İstanbul Modern (also other films of different genres).
You can find more information here

A day at İstanbul Modern: wandering through works of modern art and/or photography exhibition…then watching a Bergman film…and finally a break in İstanbul Modern’s café: for digesting all those images while enjoying a glass of wine… Images of works of art and images of Bergman wandering inside my head and the stunning view of İstanbul in front of my eyes…A perfect day…

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“The Next Big Thing” in town!

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the BBC programme for the unsigned musicians is in town. It will be held in

Bilgi Üniversitesi santralistanbul Kampüsü
E-3 Binası, Eski Silahtarağa Elektrik Santralı,
Kazım Karabekir Caddesi No1,
34060 Eyüp, İstanbul
this Saturday between 10:00-18:00!

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check out more here

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The BBC Invasion – In a good way.

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If you were faced with someone holding a microphone at you so sweetly, trust me, you wouldn’t be able to resist either.
Read more

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84th Celebration of our Republic

When you wiki the 29th of October, you get a list of all the events that happened on that day over many many years.
The one that is of interest to us today is the following:

1923Turkey becomes a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

Today, people all over Istanbul and Turkey celebrate freedom from oppression. They celebrate a republic that gave them the opportunity to build lives under a democratic regime.
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These celebrations are tainted by the PKK attacks on our country but we will not let anyone tarnish this day for us. We’re proud of every single young man that goes to the front to defend their country. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of these horrible attacks towards our nation but stay strong in wanting to defend what is ours.
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Flags are hanging from many houses and business to celebrate and show solidarity towards our soldiers. It’s hard to be happy today knowing that so many families won’t have their sons to celebrate this bayram with them.
There will be a lot of protests and peaceful walks today in Istanbul, tv stations warned everyone to not use their cars because traffic would be awful.
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Power cuts & Water restrictions

Has anyone noticed how frequent the power cuts have been as of late? It’s 4AM and I’ve been sitting in the dark for the past five hours, glaring at the ceiling (which I couldn’t really make out in the dark). I can’t think of a more depressing way of spending ones Friday night, especially when I had lots of work lined up for tonight.
It’s rather weird to look at a whole coast completely darkened out. From Bebek to Ortakoy, not a single house had power. The only thing you could see was the occasional glow of a candle lit somewhere amongst the darkness. I’ll stop before I start sounding too depressing.
Could the power cuts have anything to do with the water restrictions?
At the start of summer, the media launched a count down as to when we’d be left with no water at all. Last time I checked it was 20 days and that was a month ago. I had a shower this morning?
I don’t really know where the press get their facts or if the recent rains have helped us with our impending water doom. It would really be nice if the municipality could stop sabotaging my peaceful nights at home by forcing me to search for candles in the middle of the night.
Thank you.


1088 days ago in Metroblogging Istanbul…

This is just to say “Hello” to all authors and readers of Istanbul MetBlogs… I used to start writing here three years ago (exactly 1088 days), and after a long break, now I am back again…
I hope you would enjoy reading and commenting on my modest posts again…

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Washington Post, Starbucks & Bosphorus Breakfast

Erkan and I were contacted by Amar Bakshi, journalist with the Washington Post a couple of days ago. He told us about the project he is working on and of his impending trip to Istanbul to spend a couple of days here and get as many views as he can for what he entitled “How the world sees America – Amar C. Bakshi talks to America’s lovers and haters around the world“.
It’s not every day that we have a journalist for a major publication knocking on our door to get our opinion on a governing nation like America.

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The adorable Amar, putting up with our endless banter and nagging on politics.
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