Beyti Istanbul 75th Anniversary

No doubt Jeffrey L. Steingarten would have tried Beyti in Istanbul, “The Man that ate everything” and loved it.

The history of Beyti is simple and very interesting: a well, established Istanbul meat restaurant serving only the finest homemade dishes. Whatever they serve – they make in house and it shows including their mustard. The experience at Beyti is a truly an experience, it takes time to enjoy it, taste the food, feel the mood as we sit in the garden. We always enjoy the classical style yet easy cuisine, and Beyti philosophy, it is all in his way of doing things. His dedication and determination to give his clients a reason to return.

Döner Beyti styled

There is no doubting the quality of Beyti, their ingredients, service, hospitality and the overall ambience because it’s top level. If you ever consider to eat Döner Kebab you probably think of a Turkish stand Austria, Munich, etc., and many are serving substandard kebabs. But this is the place to go to enjoy the real deal, the ultimate in Turkish BBQ. The meat, the staff, the kitchen’s cleanliness and the integrity is outstanding.

Beyti BBQ Chef preparing the Döner in his station

They use carbon made from oak to cook the Döner and one chef dedicated to getting it perfect – what you expect from any quality kitchen. Beyti is old school, classical and the restaurant hasn’t changed the way they do things. The staff who work there have been there for years and years and the youngest staff have been there 22-years – and the family run business is 75 years old in 2020.

Chaine des Rotisseurs 75 years

This the charm we miss now a days in so many restaurants, there was a time when I was growing up when restaurants were elegant and catered more to those who appreciated their quality – hence destinations places, these hidden gems.

Nowadays most restaurants are more about Instagram, convenience and so many clients have no idea about quality. Many just have an image of quality, but many lack have the very understanding of what is quality.

Most of us eat and like what we consider tastes good and not more. Yet many would argue it is not true, but foods have been marginalised, homogenised and consequently it’s difficult for people to distinguish between foods and there innate qualities. Gastronomy has grown to a serious and popular interest worldwide by many foodies.

We all love the idea of farm to table and in the past it was commonplace, normal without the icebox most things had to be fresh. However techniques for food preservation steadily improved, prices decreased and food became more readily available making it more popular.

Iceboxes meant that people were able to go to the market less and could more safely store leftovers. All of this contributed to the improvement of the so-called fresh food readily able to be consumed and the overall safety of that food. But this was at a cost and winding the clock forward with metropolitan growth, many sources of natural ice became contaminated from industrial pollution or sewer runoff.

The idea for air circulation in refrigeration systems stems isn’t quite as new as you think, and dates back to John Schooley, who wrote about his process in the 1856 Scientific American. Schooley described the process as “Combining an ice receptacle with the interior of a refrigerator… a continuous circulation of air shall be kept up through the ice in said receptacle and through the interior of the refrigerator… so that the circulation air shall deposit its moisture on the ice every time it passes through it, and be dried and cooled.” It wasn’t until General Electric in the 1920’s launched the first electric fridge which cost $520 and the rest is history.

Thankfully the stove hasn’t completely replaced fire so we still find the BBQ a popular tool, an ancient method in cooking which dates back to 1.8 million years ago. Turkey, Japan, Spain and other countries still maintain fire and charcoal and a regular means in cooking. Turkish barbecue is common place throughout the city of Istanbul and as you walk the streets you’ll still find traditional cooking over fire is not outlawed as it is in many countries.

The way we started – döner kebab
Kofta is a loanword from Urdu

And there is no denying that Turkey is famous for its cuisine; in fact, cuisine defines its different regions, even cities. However, there is one common thing in Turkish cuisine that has a special place in everybody’s heart: Mangal, the Turkish barbecue. The end result is simple, delicious smokey flavours as the fats drop onto the coals below impacting flavours. Now add a creamy spinach and some white rice and you cover the necessary flavours of Turkey in one bite.

Kofta – Lamb and beef cooked on the fire to perfection
At the table Beyti service is impeccable ~_*

And when we speak of Turkish barbecue is not complete without delicious salad including onions and spices. At Beyti the entire restaurant is divided into sections specialising in their own disciplines; melba toast, meat, salads, etc., and those who are in charge of the salad section wash the ingredients and chop them into perfection. The most preferred salad to accompany the Turkish barbecue is “çoban” which means “shepherd” in English, which is a combination of tomatoes, red peppers and onions with plenty of olive oil. Yet I have to say Turkish olive oil takes some getting used to, and it is often less fruity (rarely spicy) and isn’t what we find in Spain, Italy and or Greece.

Mezzah at Beyti includes those small dishes to share and savour – simple & delicious
Melba Toast

At the end of the day the establishments history speaks for itself and it isn’t a gimmick in anyway, the cabinets of treasures, gifts from dignitaries from all over the world make a bold statement and the photographs of generations.

Life without having eaten a few times at Beyti isn’t complete but remember to have the full experience you need to visit Beyti at least three times ~_* and don’t forget the rice budding and homemade baklava.

Rice Pudding
Baklava Homemade

And at Beyti a dinner without enjoying their pickles is like a dinner without a glass of wine, and Pickles have been a prominent addition to the Ottoman and Turkish diets and tables for centuries. 

Pickles are an indispensable and one village in northwestern Türkiye strives to keep them popular, a place named Gedelek, traces its history to the 16th-century ruler who established it as one of several villages generating income for one of his foundations in Istanbul. In modern times, it became more famous as a major pickle producer in the country, a tradition going back about seven decades.

Every household in the village, which has a population of 2,000 people, has at least one member working in pickle production. Producing pickles from some 60,000 tons of produce yearly. Since 2017, Gedelek pickles also boast a geographical indication (GI) mark, a type of intellectual property right that identifies a good as belonging to a specific territory.

I never leave Beyti without 6 Jars of pickles

And any meal without Turkish wine seems empty, especially those wines like Nexus from Urla are quite perfect to sip chilled.

Urla Nexus Red Chilled 2019
The owner den – he is almost always there

Beyti Güler is an amazing person and chef, he founded in 1945 Beyti of the worlds first glorious establishments matching a quality second to none, and the tradition continues with his son. He writes, “I run this business since 1945. This is my lifestyle. I have started to build Beyti Restaurant in Florya in 1972 and construction is last up to 1983. From that day, I am personally at Restaurant each day. I call “wasting time” if i am not taking care of my business personally at Beyti Restaurant. My business comes first, and he means it, if there is a word for dedication, it describes Beyti.