Despite the variety of Asian cuisines on offer in Istanbul, few people have heard of the city’s only Malaysian restaurant, Nur Muhammed. This is a shame, as the restaurant boasts excellent food, a historic location, and a beautiful building.
Nur Muhammed is located in the Karagümrük neighborhood of the old city, next to Mihrimah Sultan mosque and the Edirnekapı gate. This is the entrance through which Mehmet the Conqueror rode into the city on May 29, 1453. History buffs and trekkers will find the restaurant an ideal place to eat during a tour of the Theodosian walls.
There is outside seating for the warmer months and three floors of seating inside, joined by winding wooden staircases. Best of all, the floor-to-ceiling windows of the top floor offer a marvelous view of the 16th-century Sultan Mihrimah Mosque, the work of Ottoman master Mimar Sinan.
On the menu, you’ll find many staples of Malaysian cuisine, including a wide range of soups, rice, and noodle dishes. One classic is asam pedas, a fish soup that gains sourness and spiciness from tamarind and chili, making for a very invigorating, restorative flavor.
Among the rice dishes, a good introduction to the cuisine is nasi lemak, considered Malaysia’s national dish. This hearty plate features fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaf, fried egg, spicy sambal sauce, and sliced cucumber.
Diners who enjoy Turkish gözleme will be interested to try what the menu calls “Malaysian gözleme.” This is in fact roti canai, with a consistency more like flaky flatbread than pastry. Served with a small bowl of lentil curry for dipping, this dish works well as a starter or quick snack.
Either during the meal or as a refreshing finish, the bright pink sirup bandung is also something of a fashion statement. Despite the lurid color, there are no artificial ingredients, as it contains only condensed milk and rose cordial.
- Outdoor Seating
- Worth a Trip
- Good for a special occasion
- Cash and credit card
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