Alongside the Chinese and French, Turkish cuisine is one of the highly acclaimed styles of cooking around the world. Its reputation has always been fascinating, and yet, a surprise to many. The variety of influences in its recipes and the use of culture-stamped set of ingredients are what makes their food delicious beyond compare.
Just recently, Istanblue Turkish Resto Lounge opened its doors to the very eager Cebuano foodies. This intimately small, mid-ranged restaurant is one of the very few in Cebu where you can savor authentic Turkish and Mediterranean dishes.
Class meets comfort – that’s how Istanblue presents themselves to the public through their one-of-a-kind interior. The effortless Turk-inspired wall decor and effendi light fixtures really catches the eye. Their crystal blue motif and the soothing tune that surrounds the place screams of sophistication and artistry, as is Turkish culture.
Low tables with floor pillow seats complete the “whole-new-world” experience. Al fresco–seating is also available here, just in case you need fresh air to go with your humus.
In a typical traditional Turkish household, every meal is always a feast; a celebration of color and flavor. Here in Istanblue, you will be served nothing but authentic dishes.
You can start your meal with Babagannush, which is char-grilled eggplant mash with garlic and herbs, or Edirne Ciger Tava, that refers to beef liver with dipping sauce and onion salad. Midye Dolma, which is stuffed mussels with aromatic rice, pine nuts and currants, is another delectable appetizer that you should try. It is also a famous street food in Istanbul and other parts of the country.
Mieze Trio Plate is one interesting appetizer. It’s a three-plate combination of humus (chickpea-puree with tahini and olive oil), patates slatasi (potato salad with beef salami, green peas and carrots), and yogurtlu havuc (olive-oil-glazed carrots with yogurt, herbs and garlic).
As for the salads, the Istanblue Döner Salad is a must-try, for it boasts of fresh and crisp greens topped with döner beef and dressed with either lemon vinegar or pomegranate sauce.
Now, the fun and exciting part – the main course. Kofte (grilled meatballs with fries, gravy and barbecue sauce), Lamb Steak (grilled lamb shoulder with potato wedges and onion salad), Tavuk Shish (chicken shish kebab with aromatic rice and fries), Doner Kebap (beef doner kebab with Turkish rice and fries), Hunkar Begendi (tenderloin beef served with garlic-mashed grilled eggplant with Turkish sauce), and Doner Durum (doner kebab-wrap a.k.a. shawarma with fries) are just some of the restaurant’s smash hits.
Some of the names may sound a bit odd, but these mouthwatering courses will make you want to plan for your next visit.
A sumptuous feast won’t be complete without dessert. Profiterol, which is cream puff pastry balls with rich chocolate sauce, is a good way to end a special meal.
They serve the best wines and liquors, as well as our favorite local beers, which makes Istanblue also an ideal place for family get-togethers or team bondings. For the health conscious, tea juices and shakes are also at hand. Coffee-lovers, don’t fret. Take pleasure in their coffee’s aromatic blend that is best paired with tasty Turkish delights.
Trivia: Did you know that a sultan of the Ottoman Empire only serves tea and coffee in elegant pure silver and gold tinware?
Istanblue is also a hookah lounge, where you can enjoy your shisha smoking sessions with family and friends at the most reasonable price – in fact, the cheapest in Cebu.
If you wish to know how to get here or, better yet, contact them for reservations, here are the particulars:
Name of Business: Istanblue Turkish Resto Lounge
Location: Ground Floor, City Time Square 2, Marawe Avenue, Mandaue City
Contact: (032) 420 9989
Website: Istanblue Turkish Resto Lounge
WiFi: Fast and reliable