Whether you’re a tourist, an expat, or a local, Reina, the famous restaurant and nightclub complex with an amazing Bosphorus view, is on your radar come summer. It affords one of the best views of Istanbul from Ortaköy and is filled with some of Istanbul’s best restaurants: Köşebaşı for meat lovers, Park Şamdan for fine-dining, and Dragon for Chinese food.
Although its nightlife scene may not be your thing, dinner at Reina is sure a treat for those who enjoy great food and fantastic views. Keep in mind that Reina is always filled, and reservations are a must. You may be lucky to find a spot on Sundays and Mondays without reservations. If you want to enjoy the amazing views and the delicious food without getting into the Reina crowd, make your reservation for 7pm. The dinner crowd only fills the place by 9pm and dancing usually begins around midnight.
Köşebaşı: Reina’s only kebab restaurant, Köşebaşı was established in 1995. Their menu includes starters, such as humus with pastırma (cured beef), kısır (bulgur salad typically made with fresh onions, parsley, tomato paste, and spices), and çig köfte (raw ground meat, pounded with onion and pepper, served with lettuce leaves), salads, lahmacun (Turkish-style pizza) and pide (Turkish-style pita bread) from the wood oven, and various kebabs from the grill, such as çöp şiş (small cubes of marinated lamb), patlıcanlı kebap (minced lamb kebab with barbequed eggplants), and classic desserts like künefe (shredded pastry with soft cheese filling) and semolina helvah. Their specialty is şaşlık kebabı (beef pieces on a skewer with onions, marinated with cream, soy sauce, pepper, and thyme), which is left to marinate for two days. Served with lavash bread, charred tomatoes and peppers, şaşlık kebabı is a tender combination of sweet onions and spicy meat.
Park Şamdan: An established fine-dining restaurant since 1981, Park Şamdan’s menu, which includes dishes from international and Turkish cuisine, features salmon carpaccio, shrimp cocktail, penne arabbiata, meatballs, cajun chicken, lamb chops, and more. Their beef ribs (cooked with homemade teriyaki sauce for six hours), served with wild mushroom risotto, comes highly recommended, so does Turkish classics like the artichoke cooked in olive oil. The kestane krater is an ideal summer dessert. Even though it appears to be heavy, it’s actually quite light and very delicious. It’s made with chestnut puree, chocolate sauce, strawberry, whipped cream, and pistachio, sandwiched between two layers of meringue, and served with vanilla ice-cream. If you stick around for after-dinner cocktails, make sure you try their vodka or apple martini, too.
Dragon: One of Istanbul’s most established Chinese restaurants, Dragon is a great choice for those wanting to go Asian while enjoying the beautiful Bosphorus view at Reina. Here, you’ll find all the Chinese classics, like won-ton soup, spring rolls, dumplings, lemon chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and a variety of rice and noodles. Their crispy aromatic duck is one of their most famous dishes. Cooked with hoisin and plum sauce, the duck is served with cucumber, fresh onions, and thin crepes.
Reina, Muallim Naci Caddesi No.44, Ortaköy; P: (0212) 259 59 21