Recently opened within Grand Hyatt Istanbul, 34 is a family-style restaurant where food sharing is encouraged. With a large indoor dining area and a small but cozy outdoor dining space right by the hotel’s pool, 34 is an airy venue featuring high ceilings and lots of light, with open kitchens and displays of scrumptious food acting as the main decor.
The man behind the concept is Executive Chef Fabio Brambilla, a Milano-native gelato enthusiast with a passion for Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. Having worked all around the world in various Hyatt branches and other hotels, the author of three cookbooks (Party Food, Formaggi Italiani, and Olio in Cucina) recently returned to Istanbul for the 34 project.
For Brambilla, the most crucial ingredient when cooking is passion, something he possesses very much, apparent from the spark in his eyes, when he, along with his captivating Italian gestures, explains Food Under the Sun – cooking sun-kissed ingredients to create the freshest, tastiest meals. A pazar (bazaar) lover himself, he goes on weekly tours to see what’s out there, and plays with the menu based on what’s available.
So what you’ll find on 34’s menu is subject to change based on what the bazaars offer. The restaurant is divided into five sections, and so is the menu. At the entrance, you’ll see the very inviting Charcuterie & Cheese Room, where over 30 varieties of Turkish cheese from Van, Kars, Trabzon, İzmir, Konya, Erzurum, and several other cities are displayed in all their glory. 34 has a comprehensive wine list as well, consisting of hundreds of red, white, sweet, rose, and sparkling wines, dominated by Turkish wines but including several imported ones, too. The charcuterie platter, which comes with your choice of jam, conserve, and chutney (we recommend the chestnut and red onion chutney for those who want to try exciting new flavors), can be coupled with regional wines for an impromptu wine and cheese tasting created privately by you. The charcuterie section is also where the meze selection is displayed, which can be matched with one of the 34 kinds of rakı available.
In the Kitchen section, you’ll find pasta varieties, like the strozzapreti tossed with beef confit and rosemary (a definite must-try), soups, and several side dishes, such as sautéed potatoes and roasted market vegetables. The Smoke House is where the meats (which are sourced from Edirne) and kebabs are cooked, from roasted organic lemon chicken to Turkish classics like Urfa and Adana kebab and a variety of grilled fish, all of which are caught in the Black Sea or the Aegean.
The Bakery and Patisserie sections display varieties of international and Turkish desserts as well as bakery goods. These sections are located towards the back, and appear as hidden treasures that are a little too inviting. From gelato and profiterole to apple pie, berry crumble, baklava, and Turkish delight, this section deserves a visit all its own.
34 also houses a private dining space, decorated in a very modern style but keeps a cozy feeling to it. This area requires a separate reservation, and so does the Chef’s Table, a 12-person private dining event where you can have an interactive meal with the chefs who will give you tips while preparing your meal and answer your questions throughout. Those interested in getting to the heart of the matter should watch out for the upcoming cooking courses that will be available starting in September. Taşkışla Caddesi No: 1, Taksim; P: (0212) 368 12 34