The second venture of Ops Cafe owner and former sea captain Yasin Kalender certainly has to be regarded as a standalone restaurant rather than a mere full-menu extension of the café. The small restaurant is located inside the Fransiz Geçidi (French Passage), formerly a small hub of offices and workshops, the ground floors of which have been taken up by restaurants and shops now.
Designed by Yasin's wife, interior architect Esin Sözer Kalender, Ops Passage's décor is dominated by a dropped ceiling made of massive wood in triangular shapes, and a large grey marble bar where you can sit down to enjoy a crafty cocktail or two with friends. Soft jazzy tunes welcome diners, blending in with conversations and the occasional muted kitchen sounds to a cozy soundscape.
Ops Passage offers a special breakfast menu containing an array of classic Turkish breakfast staples as well as brunchier options, served until 1.30 during the week and until 4pm on weekends. Their lunch and dinner menu is a combination of international influences with emphasis on seafood and lighter dishes like cold and warm salads, antipasti platters, and several vegetarian snack options. Their buğday (wheat) risotto's creamy yoghurt texture is good to fill even the emptiest stomach, while leaving a pleasantly lingering peppery tickle on the palate. If you are into flavorsome nibbles, try the prawns with guacamole for a spicy seafood kick, or their milder but equally tasty counterpart, the classic shrimp cocktail. Their crispy kadayıf (oven baked angel hair pastry with a drizzle of caramel) comes as a bite-sized dessert that is not only fun to eat, but also great for sharing with your fellow diners.
Risotto with wheat and strained yoghurt
Spicy prawns with guacamole
Kadayıf (oven-baked angel hair pastry)
From the Karaköy tramvay station, keep right and go down Necatibey Caddesi. Take the third street on the right (Maliye Caddesi) and then turn left onto Mumhane Caddesi. Follow this street for about 150m until you reach the historical Fransiz Geçidi complex, an entire block of shops, restaurants, and offices with a passage way running through the middle. The restaurant is located inside the A block.
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