After having traipsed around this chaotic and yet irresistible city, it was a pleasure to come and brunch in this oasis of tranquility and enjoy its terrace.
The information that I had previously found on Café Privato described a free buffet brunch, but its concept is different from the usual idea of a buffet. They don’t display the food on the bar for customers to go along and serve themselves: rather they bring all the dishes included in the price of 35 Turkish lira to the table, and you eat at your own pace – mixing flavours according to your personal taste.
You will be surprised at the number of dishes that they bring to the table, but in reality the portions are not all that big. My friend and I shared the brunch, and also ordered a portion of the ‘meze’ (a selection of various appetizers), and we left quite satisfied.
The first items that they brought us were the cold plates – olives, four types of cheese, a peanut paté, two salted salsas whose ingredients we were unable to identify, salad, various kinds of bread, honey, butter and three varieties of what they called jam. These last were, in reality, fruits in syrup, but not out of a can! Definitely the best that I’ve eaten in my life!
Almost immediately afterwards, the hot plates arrived: scrambled eggs with salami, halloumi cheese, and two pancakes – one sweet and one ‘gözleme’ (a Turkish pancake filled with spinach).
Naturally, everything was accompanied with tea – one apple, and one green tea. This last was made with loose leaves that they put directly into the teapot and which, unfortunately, as they could not be removed after some minutes, transformed a delicious green tea into a bitter drink that I could not finish.
The premises in themselves are very welcoming. To one side of the entrance there is a terrace with two large tables and two smaller ones, and a few very comfortable sofas.
At the back of the shop are two large windows that open wide, to allow one to enjoy the view of the Galata tower – one of the oldest towers in the world. It’s a shame that there’s a carpark just next to it…
The service was excellent. The man who seemed to be the manager was very courteous and polite and spoke perfect English, as did the waiter who served us.
Considering the average price of Turkish food in restaurants a way away from the tourist trail, this brunch was a little expensive, although after the conversion it stays within the European average at about €15 – but you do have to bear in mind that all the produce is organic.
If in general I found that the fruit and vegetables I found in Istanbul were much tastier than those I buy in Barcelona, even in organic shops, the culinary experience in Café Privato was simply incredible, and this brunch in Istanbul should be on the route of every traveller.