In the funked up streets of Karaköy, old buildings lie dormant, graffiti is splashed and dark shadows cover laneways.
If you enter this darkness you will find hidden lanes with both vineleaves and lightbulbs hanging from above.
This is the burgeoning Istanbul bohemia and ‘Louis Bistro’ is one of the leaders in the Karaköy restaurant scene.
I was invited, with seven elite Turkish bloggers, to taste the new menu launched at Louis.
How does one have feet that can feel the dust of an Istanbul sidewalk while at the same time have eyes that are looking at the slick lines of Paris?
All is possible in Istanbul.
This was the feeling stepping from an inner city lane-way into high class restaurant Louis Bistro in the seductive shadows of Karaköy.
Louis reflects today’s Istanbul where old and new have learnt to share the same space, smudging old world charm with a new-age contemporary edge.
A precise amount of international antiques, vintage Istanbul nick-nacks and a world map are placed around the room in a way that does not clutter but enhance.
From Louis’ corner position, the high ceilinged European facade and slim wooden terrace face the historical Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı and mosque.
Both Turkish bath and mosque were designed by famous Ottoman architect Sinan.
Perhaps mimicking an architectural mind, the chefs at Louis have thought, researched, prepared and designed a menu that pays equal importance to appearance as it does taste.
This precision in taste design is gathering a funky, successful Istanbul following.
Fashion week recently swept through Istanbul, and it is quite surprising that Louis’ plates didn’t get up and walk down the runway with the preened, waxed and toned models.
The new menu certainly stirred the same fashion scene reaction from the blogging cameras.
With a large selection of meals, it is far from being a burger house, yet the burger menu manages to outshine, out do, out race, out taste any burger shop across Istanbul.
Keeping with the concept of design, you can select from an experimental list of Fondue Burger, Ramen Burger and Röşti Burger.
If you order the mini potato starter you will pick them up between two fingers and as you are placing one in your mouth you may think, “Come on, it’s just a small potato. How can this be any good.” Then your tongue touches the truffle oil drizzled over the mushrooms and potato…
Say no more…
Written by Sheldon Heyes
My pick – English – Goats cheese with tomato chutney, mini potato, pomegranate and tabouli salad, fondue burger, white chocolate lava cake.
Turkish - Kızarmış keçi peyniri, mantarlı baby kumpir, narlı tabule salatası, fondue burger, beyaz çikolatalı lava kek
Louis livens from 11pm each Friday with a DJ and live performances every Saturday.
A photographic exhibition has just finished. It was a selection of profile pictures of eclectic characters. Diners are now waiting for the next artist to showcase on the walls at Louis.
Louis Bistro & Restaurant
Kemankeş Mh. Necati Bey Cd.
Gece Kuşu Sk. No:6
Karaköy / İstanbul
+90 (212) 243 27 33