Owner Ferit Sarper's menu gives traditional meyhane fare a twist that's as contemporary as the upscale surroundings, creating dishes that are innovative and remarkable, but not too experimental. Traditional "Circassian chicken" is made here with duck breast, while feta cheese is served baked in paper with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil; other standout mezes include grilled jumbo shrimp with hummus and a sea bass carpaccio. The extensive wine list features both Turkish and international labels, and desserts are worth saving room for, particularly the house-made ice cream in flavors like tahini and sage. Seating is on the popular outdoor patio—if you can get a table—or in the chic, private-club-like interior.
Yeni Çarşı Cad. 19, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Mar 25, 2012
Münferit is an excellent restaurant with great service and immaculately designed atmosphere, tucked away in the back streets of Beyo?lu. Their selection of 'meze's offer a pleasant twist to most traditional Turkish restaurants, offering a pleasant dining experience for any friendly get-together. Past the hours of midnight, however, tables are cleared - turning this upscale restaurant into a crowded bar scene. Unfortunately the space was not designed
to house the crowded mass of people that fills it on weekends, turning the former peaceful ambiance into a pushing, kicking, highly strung mess. At one point during our visit, while trying to make our way to the restroom through the tightly packed crowd, a group nearby was randomly assaulted by a group of Turkish females which subsequently turned into one of the most horrific and cheap bar fight scenes I have ever encountered. Münferit is clearly ill-equipped to deal with the bar scene it has so mistakenly created, offering zero security for its visitors - including those that are always peaceful regulars and know the establishment so well. It is incredibly unfortunate that this lovely restaurant transforms to such extremes during the course of a few hours. It should definitely stick to what it knows best and keep itself as a restaurant - or at least put a cap on, and filter the number of bar visitors it allows per night, with proper security to protect from people who will clearly cause trouble. After our terrible experience at the establishment, I will personally never be going there again. It is a real shame for Istanbul that a place that has kept such a good culinary reputation has developed a Mr. Hyde. over the past few months. Though I plan not to return again, I sincerely hope the management mends their open sores so that Münferit can continue to be an exemplar in the city rather than just another cheap bar scene.