Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rating Erzincanli Ali Baba - Istanbul, Turkey

Erzincanli Ali Baba - exterior 
Erzincanli Ali Bab is a place where locals eat. No smart interior, but probably the best place to eat authentic Turkish food in Istanbul. 

Rating Erzincanli Ali Baba,  Istanbul: BBBB- (3,74 points)
  • Location: BBBB
  • Service: BBBB-
  • Interior and atmosphere: BB+
  • Food: BBBBB
Erzincanli Ali Baba is located by the Suleyman Mosque
Erzincanli Ali Baba is located by the Suleyman Mosque and the tomb of the grand sultan that bears its name.

We found the restaurant when leaving the tomb of Suleyman the magnificent. It is a wonderful location, Erzincanli Ali Baba is located in a long buildings with domes resting in the in the shade of the biggest mosque in Istanbul.
Erzincanli Ali Baba is one of the local eateries packed with locals. Apart from the food, it is a place to sit down and look at the people walking by, and you will find that you are quite alone, as there are very few tourists around.

Beans in aromatic tomato sauce
Here you come for the food, no chic interior or comfort by the table, for that matter.

What you order at Erzincanli Ali Baba is probably those Turkish mums cook at home, good, old and authentic comfort food. We ordered several dishes and everything tasted great.
    Erzincanli Ali Baba: Chicken with peppers
    The vegetarian option at at Erzincanli Ali Baba was a plate of beans in a rich, aromatic  tomato sauce that served as our starter.  
    The starter was followed by dishes made with chicken, beef and ground meat. 
    The chicken was simply lightly fried and served with red and green peppers.
    Erzincanli Ali Baba: Beef stew with vegetables
    The beef was braised in a rich stew with tomatoes, a typical Mediterranean style casserole.

    The plate of "Köfte" Turkish style meatballs had absorbed the aromas of a thick tomato sauce. 
    All dishes at Erzincanli Ali Baba felt home made  - rustic, different stews cooked according to the quality and texture of the meat.

    The chicken was just lightly browned and cooked through to remain succulent. The beef was a cheaper cut, but mouthwateringly tender as it had stewed for a long time. 
    Erzincanli Ali Baba: Turkish köfte in tomato sauce
    The Köfte was pretty close to my mothers Scandinavian meatballs, if you swap the tomato sauce with ordinary brown gravy.

    The food was delicious, and combined with the local charm Erzincanli Ali Baba is absolutely worth visiting, and a perfect place for lunch when you've seen the mighty Suleyman Mosque.

    And we were not the first tourists discovering Erzincanli Ali Baba.  When looking through tripadvisor I found 6 revievs, all so positive that it was ranked as number 401, not bad when considering that there were 8833 reviews from Istanbul on

    I found this film showing Erzincanli Ali Baba on Turkish TV, a clip to enjoy - at least for us that do not talk or understand Turkish.  It will give you an idea of Erzincanli Ali Baba, and the film is, above all,  fascinating for me to look at, to look back. It is fascinating to see the presenter eating the same bean dish as we ordered. 

      View Istanbul A-Z 2009 Updated July 2012 in a larger map

      1 comment:

      Susi said...

      That was a memorable meal indeed. Good service too. We need to go traveling together again soon :)