Located on the European side of the city in the opulent 540 year-old Grand Bazaar is the Havuzlu Restaurant. Established in 1960, this restaurant has capacity for 180 people. It was renovated in 2002 and is now decorated with tiles from Iznik, copper, old prints and antique carpets. You can opt to dine at the restaurant’s outer courtyard (it has about 10 tables) or inside – where you will see the small pool that it was named after in the center of the restaurant (havuzlu means with a pool).
The tables are adorned with ‘chemin de table’ tablecloths and the wait staff wears uniforms according to their rank. Chef Osman Kıraç has been in charge of the kitchen since 2002 and works with his 4 assistants preparing about 20 hot and cold dishes daily. Additionally, döner is served. Desserts include the traditional şekerpare and kemalpaşa (soft pastry desserts in syrup) along with fırın sütlaç (baked rice pudding) and krem karamel (crème caramel). The ayva tatlısı (quince) dessert is one of the menu highlights, but is available only in the winter. Due to their location, Mr. Sarışen says that 60% of his customers are tourists, with the remaining 40% merchants at the Bazaar and Turkish shoppers.
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