It's no secret that kebabs have been the go-to snack food for late-night city revellers forever and ever. The lashings of garlic entangled with tender meat, lettuce and tomato, all wrapped up in a soft pita are the makings of a loyal friend on the lonely taxi ride home…or tragically for some, an early morning ready-made breakfast.
But now, thanks to new opening Miss Istanbul, you needn’t wait for the alcohol-fuelled cravings to arrive. Their offerings will have you wanting Turkish food, even if you haven’t even had a single drop.
Miss Istanbul has literally popped up overnight and is already delighting countless number of diners with their traditional Turkish offerings. Meat here is cooked fresh to order, marinades and sauces are flavourful and the menu explores more than just kebabs.
The space, located towards the back of Ponsonby Central, is basically a large open plan kitchen with stools surrounding it. You’ll get first class seats to watch the action of the bustling grill, regardless of where you’re sitting. The benches are decorated with vibrant tiles and there’s shiny ornaments every which way you look. You could very well trick yourself into thinking you were dining street-side in Istanbul.
If you’re peckish you should definitely start with Borek—perfectly crispy and light filo encases silky potato and cheese which sit in a bed of tangy feta sauce. Moving on to larger bites, they have the all important Dürüm wrap, which is filled with either tender beef, chicken, halloumi, housemade falafel or slowed cooked Anatolian lamb. Each is served with sumac red onion, fresh tomato and greens. Or, if you’re someone who likes a little bit of everything, Miss Istanbul’s platters feature two generous skewers alongside salads, house dips and flatbread.
Your sweet tooth will also be well looked after here. Try their Lokma—perfectly fried doughnuts with a hint of coconut and topped with vanilla ice cream. And, it may sound a little odd, but their iced-yoghurt tea is beautifully refreshing with tangy and sweet notes.
Miss Istanbul is definitely worthy of a visit. And, if there’s one thing the team behind it want from you it would be “to fall in love with Turkish kebabs, again”— and there’s no doubt we have!
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews