As venues go, Stanbuli is definitely one of the most curious. The exterior maintains the retro purple-and-pink facade from its former life as Marie-Louise Salon. The interior is a sophisticated styling execution; a marble bar and dark-hued timber initially overshadow the cultural touches in the patterned tiles, Turkish prints and coffee trays. And the menu is modelled on the Turkish meyhanes: share-style starting from meze and progressing to charcoal-cooked meats. It's a blend that perhaps shouldn't work but in the heart of Enmore, where just about anything goes, it does.
Former Porteno chef Ibrahim Kasif is at the helm, celebrating his heritage and pushing aside stereotypes of shish kebabs. From pickled octopus to wood-grilled lamb chops, Kasif packs each dish with spices to create vibrant dishes that are as tasty as they are colourful. The dessert menu is as sickly-sweet as you'd expect with baklava, tahini parfait and yoghurt ice cream cake all making an appearance.
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