I ventured out to Cafe Istanbul at the Shops at Legacy in Plano this weekend.
We ordered the hummus & pita bread appetizer and when it arrived the pita bread was so fresh out of the oven it had steam piping out of it from a tiny hole in the top. The hummus was excellent as well and was topped with olive oil. I ordered the Bursa Iskender (Chef’s Special 1) which consisted of a combination of marinated beef and lamb served over homemade pita bread, with a rice tomato butter sauce on top. This was my first time eating Turkish food and I was very pleasantly surprised! I had no idea what to expect, but that first taste was rich and chock full of flavors to boot! It was served with a side of yogurt and rice pilaf. Honestly, my first thought when I saw the yogurt was, “What the heck is that?” However, I figured when in Rome…or Turkey in this case, I needed to experience this to the fullest. It.was.awesome. Who puts yogurt on beef? With tomato sauce? The Turkish, that’s who and god bless them for it! It definitely added a coolness to the dish and my pallet was thankful.
My friend ordered the Islim Kebab (Lamb Shank) which was served on the bone topped with eggplant slices and a tomato sauce. The kicker here was the presentation (see pic). It looked like the prize from a bull fight. Two hot (very hot!) peppers as horns inside of a mashed potato bull’s head. The decorative spirals on the side? Chocolate. Yep, that’s right and it added just the right amount of sweet to this salty dish. Honestly, neither of us were sure if you were supposed to actually incorporate it into the dish or not, but we figured it couldn’t hurt and were glad we did.
The atmosphere of the restaurant it self was very inviting with patio seating outside seamlessly flowing in. They also have quite a wine selection, however at this time I am just a foodie, wino-in-training so I am unable to comment on the list. Overall an A for the taste & experience and I highly recommend Cafe Istanbul to those with a traveler’s pallet.