Turkey

Beeves Burger-Istanbul

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A fellow blogger recommended this place for me to try and suddenly, while I was walking down in Akkoza Park (our area), I saw the place just next to our building. And I was like “why not have lunch today in here?”

We headed there around 4 p.m. good thing it wasn’t weekend and it wasn’t crowded. We found a suitable table, sat down and started looking at the menu. I can’t actually remember the names of the burgers we’ve ordered, but all of them tasted amazing.

The fried mushroom was kind of oily, the appetiser platter (picture below) was really delicious and yummy (highly recommended) and the burgers we’ve ordered (Cheese burger & another kind) were all great, big, enough for one person and more, and juicy *yummies*

You can find the place in either Mall of Istanbul or Akkoza Park.

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LegoLand-Istanbul

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I’ve known and read in many social media platforms that Legoland will open its first indoor park in Istanbul at the end of July. So I had it on my places-to-visit list for Jana to enjoyer time.

We went to Forum Istanbul Mall on a weekday, so when I went to book tickets for her, it wasn’t crowded at all. They welcomed us with smiles and greetings in English of course 🙂 The staff was very helpful and friendly. Jana went for free because she’s under 3 but I had to pay for myself (forgot how much)

Inside the park you wait in line to listen to someone speaking in Turkish and I didn’t understand a word. Then we go inside a round room where they also speak in Turkish and we have to play a mini game on a huge screen. After that we go inside and start our first game. There wasn’t a long queue so we jumped inside the cart very fast and it was totally fun.

Then we got inside the whole building (2 stories) and Jana went crazy over the bricks scattered everywhere, games, slides and rides, not to mention the statues made from Lego Bricks.

The place is very child friendly, it has a cafeteria and a place for parents to sit and watch their kids have fun. We spent 3 hours there and it wasn’t enough, Jana wanted to stay longer but we couldn’t.

If you’re going to Istanbul with your child make sure to take them to LegoLand.

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Sapanca/Masukiye Roud Trip-Istanbul

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These 2 places were on my mind for a long time. I keep listening to people talking about how beautiful the scenery there and the weather is really cool ext. So, we’ve decided to visit them. We’ve arranged with our driver to pick us up from our apartment and take us there. The trip took us around 4 hrs from our place.

We had a quick stop at the gas station where we bought some snacks and coffee and then completed our way.

We reached Sapanca around 1pm, it was burning hot :S We didn’t expect it to be like that but I guess it was the season where the weather is sometimes hot and sometimes cool. We walked a bit, took some photos, drank smoothies and then we headed to Naturkoy.

Naturkoy was a restaurant in the middle of woods, a mini river and tiny waterfalls. The weather there was really cool and the breeze was so beautiful. It was better than Sapanca. We had lunch there and the food was really delicious. Loved the tables and where we were seated and had our lunch. Totally worth it.

Then we headed to Masukiya. The weather there became cooler and cooler. So many cafes and restaurants were on the top of the mountain, some were next to river bank. Extremely mind blowing. I just wanted to sit there for hours looking at the water coming down and doing nothing. I had 3 cups of Turkish coffee 🙂

I loved Masukiya more than Sapanca but maybe Sapanca had to be visited in a colder season.

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New York City Diner-Istanbul

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After we’ve finished from Aqua Florya Aquarium, we were very hungry and wanted a decent place to have lunch/dinner in. We went outside the mall (sea-side) where there were so many restaurants and cafes facing the sea and planes landing above our heads. The view was superb.

We saw New York City Diner and agreed to try it. Well, our choice wasn’t bad at all. The place looks humble but it serves really great burgers and don’t forget to try their Mac’n Cheese *Dies*

Their prices were also decent, the burgers were very huge, so don’t worry about not getting enough in your tummy. I actually couldn’t finish mine so hubs ate it all. He said it was really delicious. I believe mine was with Blue Cheese.

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Haci Serif Ice Cream-Istanbul

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The best ice cream in town. You can find it in the Misri Bazar.

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Aqua Florya Aquarium-Istanbul

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This year, we’ve spent our summer holiday in Istanbul. My family has just bought an apartment there and we decided to use it and abuse it 🙂

On the first day of our arrival, we wanted to go somewhere but not that far because we were kind of tired. So we agreed to go to Aqua Florya Mall, visit their huge aquarium and enjoy our time there. The mall is just next to the airport, so when you sit there and have lunch or coffee, you’ll see plane after plane landing. Beautiful view.

Let’s talk about the aquarium. It’s huge, better than the one we have in Kuwait of course. So easy to go around and explore the things they have for the visitors. website

I loved that it’s divided to sections, and each section has its own decoration. Like one time you’re in the Ataractic and then you’re inside a cave. Just beautiful.

The prices of the tickets are around KD 4 (42 TL) which is decent. Also you can find a cafe and small kiosks selling food or goodies. You can take pictures with statues or just sit next to the huge pool and watch the fish swim around. They have so many sharks there going above your head :/

The place is worth the visit.

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Welldone by Midpoint Experience-Istanbul

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Just before going to the airport, I wanted to visit one place that I had on my list in this short trip. I’ve heard and seen a lot about Zorlu Centre-Istanbul. So we decided to end my last day in Istanbul there (I was returning back alone). We arrived there around 4pm and we were very hungry because we didn’t have a decent breakfast due to furnishing and other house chores.

We saw the first restaurant in front of us and we went inside without even checking the name 😀 yes, we were THAT hungry.

The decoration of the place looked beyond chick and elegant, modern and beautiful, colourful and full of life. We wanted to sit outdoors because the weather was really beautiful that day but it was full so we sat inside and we started exploring the menu. They had, Italian, American, Turkish and other cuisines. The variety of dishes was really good. We had from each cuisine a dish 🙂

We chose Iskender Kabab served on eggplants, Welldone Steak, Caramelised Onion Pizza and the appetiser was fried Goat Cheese served on a bed of apples with raspberry/strawberry balsamic sauce. The fried goat cheese combination with apples, balsamic and raspberry sauce was beyond amazing *Sigh* A killer and we finished it in seconds. The Iskender Kabab was the winner after the goat cheese. So tender, moist and DELICIOUS, not to mention the dressing and the eggplant sauce. The pizza was really good and light, the steak was also so good and yummy. We loved everything about the whole place and I’d visit it again to try other dishes from their menu.

It is located in Zorlu Centre.

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Fried Goat Cheese

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A closer look 😀

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The Steak

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Caramelised Onion Pizza

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Iskender Kabab

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Categories: Food, Istanbul, Turkey, Vacation | 2 Comments

Hanedan Balik Experience-Istanbul

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It was seafood kind of a day, so we asked our driver to take us to a really good seafood restaurant and boy he did take to a very good and fancy seafood place. We wanted to sit outdoors because the weather was really beautiful that day, rainy and not that cold.

 It’s not a regular restaurant that you can wear anything to it and just head there. It’s very fancy and high class that almost everyone was wearing dresses and suits but who cares anyway 😉

We chose 3 kinds of appetizers, and my favourite is the stuffed mussels yum yum, 6 pieces of grilled jumbo prawns and 1 kilo of grilled seabass fish. Just that came around KD 60. The price doesn’t make sense at all but it was a new experience and the food tasted really really good but I wouldn’t go back to the place because I’d find the same kind of food for a lesser price.

If you’re going there as a couple then go ahead and try it, the romantic atmosphere will make you happy 😉 but if you have kids or elderlies, then I wouldn’t recommend the place for them.

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HuXo Experience-Akbati Residence-Istanbul

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The purpose of my last short trip to Istanbul was to buy furniture for our apartment. My family bought an apartment last January in Akbati residence, which is a huge new compound after Behceseher area, and it is highly secured that it’s completely safe to walk in the compound after midnight. Many cafes, restaurants, bars, grocery shops, tailors, salons and a cute mall called Akbati Mall surround the compound itself. All that is just within feet from our apartment.

On a very busy tiring day, after we’ve finished cleaning, washing, arranging dishes and stuff in the apartment, we wanted to have lunch asap at 6pm (We haven’t eaten anything all day, imagine!). I looked from our balcony in the apartment and suggested we try the restaurant at the corner and everybody said yes.

The place looked so modern and chic that you’d think you’d have to pay a lot of money just for a couple of dishes but that was totally the opposite. The staff was very welcoming, one of them spoke Arabic so it wasn’t a problem dealing with them in English as not all of them speak English very well. We choose our table, it was almost empty because at 6pm nobody eats lunch or dinner, it usually gets crowded after 8pm til midnight.

We ordered Salmon Bruschetta Salad which came to be a huge dish and unexpected. Salmon Pasta, Grilled Salmon and a Burger dish (most of our dishes had salmon). Loved the Bruschetta A LOT, it was huge, satisfying and fulfilling. The pieces of salmon were very satisfying unlike some restaurants, they bring small little pieces of smoked salmon and that’s it. The salmon past was also so nice and delicious, creamy and tasty. My grandma loved her grilled salmon that she ate it all and didn’t share lol. My aunt said the burger was cooked to perfection and that it was delicious. We all loved our dishes and didn’t complain about anything. The bill came out to be around KD 20 which is very reasonable.

 I’d visit the place again when I’m in town next time to try other dishes.

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Haskral Hatay Sofrasi-Istanbul مطعم الملك-اسطنبول

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This restaurant was recommended by so many people and a lot instagramed about it and said it serves good Turkish food. I don’t like going to place where I see a lot of Kuwaitis and people from the region when I’m travelling but I wanted to visit this place to try the food and it was totally worth it.

We arrived around 6pm and it was crowded mashallah and by 7pm it became full house and a waiting list started. All waiters speak Arabic, so it wasn’t a problem dealing with them.

I wanted to try the dish that is cooked inside salt and presented to your table with flames 😀 That dish turned out to be REALLY delicious and was worth the wait (took 30 minutes to cook). I loved it and I’m recommending it to my friends and family who are going there, eat it with their fresh yogurt, yum yum. We also ordered pistachio kabab, amazzzzing. Just imagine pistachio and kebab yum yum. Their appetisers were also good. Loved the whole experience and would go there again when I’m in Istanbul soon.

من المطاعم المشهوره وايد في اسطنبول و دايما يروحون لها الخليجيين و اكثرهم كويتيين سعوديين و اماراتيين. نادر ماتلاقون اتراك بهالمكان. انا عن نفسي ما احب ازور مكان بسفره معينه فيه خليجيين بس الكل مدح هالمطعم و كان خاطري اجربه. ماشاء الله زحمه بشكل مو طبيعي بس الخدمه عندهم سريعه و حلوه و اكلهم نظيف و لذيذ جدا. انصحكم تطلبون اكتاف اللحم المطبوخه بطبقة الملح، الطبق ياخذ تقريبا نصف ساعه. قعدوا اكلوا بالمزات شويه و ريحوا على مايوصل الطلب لانه صج يستاهل النطره و اكلوه مع روبهم. و هم بعد انصحكم تطلبون الكباب بالفستق جدا جدا رائع

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Istanbul at Night

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There some cities that get really boring at night and scary like Los Angeles, London, New York and more but Istanbul is not one of those cities. It is a very alive city and it doesn’t sleep. It is completely safe to walk alone at midnight and the people there are very friendly. They weren’t like that the past couple of years but they have changed.

One of the places that I like visiting at night is Sultan Ahmet. That place is beyond amazing with all the lights, the big fountain, the mosques and the darwish dance along with a good cup of tea/chay.

Ortakoy is one of the places that I like going to at night. Seeing the lights of the famous bridge sparkle in front of your eyes, eating their famous potato with all the fatty ingredients, just walking around or eating at one of their famous restaurants. It’s your choice but just walking around the place makes it fun.

Also Taksim/Istiklal street is a vivid and crowded streets filled with cafes, restaurants, shops and so many more but I don’t like going to it if I’m not staying in the area because it’s really annoying getting their, the streets are always jammed/crowded. Try it for a day and spend your time their from morning til evening.

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Fatih Wednesday Bazaar-Istanbul

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On my short trip to Istanbul, we’ve managed to pass by Fatih Wednesday Bazaar or Market which opens only on Wednesdays of course and it’s next to Fatih Cami/Mosque. There you can find whatever you want in cheap prices. Of course the quality won’t be THAT good but some things are worth buying. Like for example; I got shoes for work for a very cheap price around 4KD per pair, which is good for work. As a teacher, my shoes are ruined very easily and after 1 year of using them I throw them because they’ve been used to the max 😀 so these kinds of shoes from such market and for this price are good for those who spend their time at work walking and going from place to another. You can also get towels, blankets, kids clothes, nuts, dried fruit and other things.

What I liked about this market is the old genuine people of Istanbul chatting with you in Turkish and laughing even though you don’t comprehend every word they say but sometimes we manage to understand or pick a word or 2.

There are chairs all over the place for you to rest on when you’re tired and drink chay in the lovely whether while you watch people pass by or buy their thing.

The spirit, the atmosphere, the whole are is full of vividness and happiness. I loved the place a lot and it’s fun just walking around it even if you don’t want to buy anything.

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