Mabou Pera is a very unassuming restaurant with a small floorplan but a big heart. The restaurant dishes out European style bistro dishes but slightly more elevated. The chef’s German, French and Turkish background make for an interesting mix of strong flavors and no lack of artery-clogging delicacies.
What to order: Above everything Mabou excels at pasta. The agnolotti, sachets of perfectly prepared dough holding liquid umami in the form of lamb jus, burst in your mouth to release an hmmmppff sound. Another highlight is the lobster kuru, kuru being short for kuru fasulye, a peasant dish made with braised haricot beans in tomato sauce, occasionally with chunks of brisket. His lobster take on the dish is delicately unusual and unusually delicate.
The menu changes often but the highlights stay. Expect well-sourced produce and hearthy, contemporary dishes. The plates are definitely not appropriately sized with the small tables and restaurant, they fill you up.
What to know: Mabou Pera is tiny. Although it’s not impossible to find a spot during the week, a call ahead is always the smart way to go. The chef Cem Ekşi has taken it upon himself to reestablish the neighbourhood’s culinary and cultural heydays. In this very welcome attempt to make Asmalımescit great again