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Carshalton, United Kingdom
June 16, 2004
The food is prepared upstairs and lowered down from a gallery on the top floor, except for the bread and gozelme, which is prepared by a number of women in the middle of the restaurant. There are tables and chairs but its much more fun to sit on cushions on the floor, stretch out your legs, and eat your food from the low tables.
The atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant, the staff friendly and eager to help, the food solid, tasty fare, and the cost fantastic. I’d recommend it as a place for a cheap lunch.
Yes, like I said before, it is touristy and you may be made to wear colourful turbans and have your picture taken, but it’s still enjoyable.
Try a mixed starter, a wonderful assortment of tastes like tomato, aubergine, chili, and more that you can mop up with satisfyingly warm and doughy bread. Delicious. For a kebab, a potato pancake, and drinks we paid 20,000,000 Turkish lira (about 8,60 sterling at the then exchange rate) between us. What a bargain!
Hours: 8am - 11pm daily
From journal Istanbul - Minarets and Magic
by Jim Rosenberg
May 23, 2004
(Reservations might be a good idea in the evening, but we stopped in during the afternoon and while there were enough people there to have a nice time, there were plenty of tables.) There are no chairs; people sit at low tables and there are pillows.
An English translation of the menu is available and there is a wide selection of crepes available: spinach, potato, cheese, minced meat, and chicken are a few examples. Other offerings include Turkish ravioli and a several kebob choices. The apple tea is divine, so don't forget to enjoy that, too.
Maybe it's a bit touristy, but with the atmosphere, the service and the food, this place is well worth a stop.
From journal Istanbul: exotic and friendly -- a bargain, too!
July 28, 2003
We ate at Cenet. That night, there was a folk troupe there singing traditional music. They would come to each table and sing to us. When we came in, they put some silly bangles and hats on us! We were laughing so hard at the silliness of it! We ordered about four entrees as our dinner, since we hadn't eaten yet that day.
Cenet is easy to find, a large restaurant with big windows, on your right as you walk towards the bazaar from Sultanahmet. We ate here several times during our stay in Istanbul.
Diners may be seated on a pile of pillows around a low table. One time, we were given traditional hats to wear while we were serenaded by a Turkish band. Red-faced from embarassment, it ended up being quite fun.
But don't worry - you can elect not to participate in this activity and they do not always do this.
We enjoyed their mezes, very yummy. I do not think this is the place where the locals eat, but if you're not ashamed to be a tourist, it is worth checking out.
From journal Istanbul in June
New York, New York
December 13, 2001
From journal Four Days in Istanbul
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
October 28, 2000
From journal A Taste of Istanbul