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İngilizce Türkiye’de: Gram Istanbul

gram-istanbul-beyoglu

Welcome to the sixth post in our İngilizce Türkiye’de series. Today we would like to highlight a newly opened casual lunch cafe and bakery in Beyoğlu, Gram Istanbul

In our İngilizce Türkiye’de series we highlight establishments across Turkey that offer great service and command of the English language. On a recent trip that TurksLearnEnglish.com made to Gram, we were impressed with the quality of the food, the service and servers’ ability to converse in English. The explanations of the food, ingredients and preparation style that we received in the English language, were commendable.

Gram is a small bakery and cafe in the heart of Beyoğlu, opened by chef, Didem Şenol. Didem is now famous in the Istanbul culinary scene due to her wildly successful Karakoy restaurant, Lokanta Maya. Lokanta Maya focuses on Turkish classics with a modern twist, prepared with seasonal fresh ingredients.

Gram Istanbul is effectively the lunch cafe version of Lokanta Maya. Everyday five to eight hot dishes and a selection of salads are prepared. The focus is on Turkish cuisine with some interesting takes on the classics. Like many classic Turkish büfe in Beyoğlu, servings are cafeteria style and priced based on the number of selections you make. Prices are reasonable but expect to pay more than your standard Istiklal lunch fare. There is also a bakery that prepares some of the best desserts and assorted baked goods we have ever eaten in Istanbul. Lunch is served from 12 to 3 pm daily with the bakery opened until 6pm.

gram-istanbul-ingilizce-turkiye'de

On our last visit, we were particularly impressed with the quality of the service delivered in English.

For this week’s vocabulary lesson we would like to go over classic Turkish ingredients often featured on Gram’s menu:

  • pazı … swiss chard
  • kabak … pumpkin
  • ıspanak … spinash
  • havuç … carrot
  • patlıcan …. eggplant
  • pancar … beetroot
  • bezelye …. pease
  • enginar … artichoke

We hope you enjoyed both our review of Gram Istanbul and our vocabulary lesson! As always, if you know of any restaurants, cultural institutions or attractions across Turkey that should be commended for the quality of their English, be sure to let us know!

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İngilizce Türkiye’de: Eleos Istanbul

eleos-beyoglu-istanbul

eleos-beyoglu-istanbul

Welcome to the second post in our İngilizce Türkiye’de series. In our first post we introduced a great place for traditional Turkish breakfast, or kahvaltı, called Van Kahvaltı Evi. In our second post we will highlight Eleos Restaurant with two locations in Istanbul.

eleos-istanbul-beyoglu

eleos-istanbul-beyoglu

In our İngilizce Türkiye’de series we highlight establishments across Turkey that offer great service as well as great command of the English language. Eleos has two locations in Istanbul, one in Beyoğlu and one in Yeşilköy. On a recent trip to the Beyoğlu location we were impressed with the food, the view and the service offered in English to our foreign colleagues.

Lets begin with the most important part: the food

The food at at Eleos is that of a fish mezze house but with a more distinct Greek flare than your traditional Bosphorus fish restaurant. Like a typical Istanbul fish restaurant there was a three-course approach to the meal – cold mezze (vegetarian and fish), hot mezze (fish and seafood) and fish (grilled or fried whole fish). What separates Eleos’ food from other fish restaurants in Istanbul is the variety of ingredients. For example, we tried Oyster mushroom mezze, lobster in yoghurt, fried sole stuffed into peppers and fish kokorec. The lokanta is dressed up as an Agean Greek fish restaurant, with blue and white tablecloths, wood paneling and al fresco ambiance. If you book ahead, be sure to ask for a table on the heated patio in order to get a commanding Bosphorus view over Beyoğlu.

At Eleos there are many thoughtful touches that make the dining experience more enjoyable than at a typical restaurant. Several mezze dishes are brought out “on the house”. A welcome aperitif and an extensive desert tray are delivered to the table as “compliments of the chef”.

Now for the second most important part: İngilizce Türkiye’de

As always in our İngilizce Türkiye’de series, we like to commend establishments with strong command of the English language. The service level in English was of a very high standard. Not only were the servers almost fluent in English but they also adjusted their service for a western sensibility. The service was less abrupt and assertive than in most Istanbul restaurants. In addition, significant time was allowed between each course. For this week’s İngilizce Türkiye’de post we will highlight some of the English service terms and their Turkish equivalents:

  • rezervasyon var mi?   ‘do you have a reservation?’,
  • ikram   ‘on the house’, ‘with our compliments’,
  • afiyet olsun   ‘enjoy your meal’,
  • bir şey değil   ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘my pleasure’
  • ‘iyi akşamlar’   ‘good evening’, ‘see you again’ and ‘thank you for coming’ are all appropriate in this context

Whether you are a Turkish native speaker who wants to practice English or a foreigner visiting Turkey, TurksLearnEnglish.com recommends Eleos for its great food and great service. Details:

Beyoğlu

Address: İstiklal Mh., 34440, Beyoğlu

Phone: +90 212 244 9090

Yeşilköy

Address: Yeşilköy Mh., Yeşilbahçe Sk No:9, Bakırköy

Phone: +90 212 663 3911

As always, if you know of any establishments that should be commended for their İngilizce Türkiye’de, please let us know.

 

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İngilizce Türkiye’de: Van Kahvaltı Evi

van-kahvalti-evi-İngilizce-Türkiye'de

In our İngilizce Türkiye’de series we highlight establishments across Turkey that offer great service as well as great command of the English language.

We think the series is a good way to discover great restaurants, destinations, attractions and services, as well as highlighting establishments in Turkey where English speakers can get service in the global language.

On a recent morning walk in Cihangir, myself and my co-founder found ourselves very hungry. Both of us are big fans of an Aegean breakfast. As we walked towards Taksim we noticed a Kahvaltı Evi that was packed at 9 am on a Thursday. We decided to check it out.

Van Kahvaltı Evi is not an Aegean kahvaltı but hails from the eastern parts of the country. The Kurdish regions of Turkey take their kahvaltı very seriously. There are many similarities to an Aegean Kahvaltı with some key differences including Van cheeses, tangy cacık (thick yogurt spread) and murtuğa, a heavy wheat flour porridge. Of course, you will find the typical tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and white cheese of an Aegean kahvaltı. The food at Van Kahvaltı Evi is generous in portion, very fresh and reasonably priced.

What we were most impressed with is the service. Both of our waiters, and the man who brought us our bill spoke a great level of English. Additionally, both had commanded some of the finer elements in translation of Turkish service to English.

One of the more difficult aspects to learning English is wordy question forms:

While in Turkish it’s quite acceptable to simply use a single noun in isolation, such as ‘bread?’, ‘tea?’, ‘bill?’ for example, it usually grates on the ears of a native English speakers as it can border on rudeness.

English, requires a more expansive question. Not too hard to learn but at a minimum service staff are better off using:

  • Would you like anything else?
  • Would you like more tea / bread…
  • Can I get you anything else?

It’s a small thing but these couple of phrases make such a difference to the quality of service.

Whether you are a foreigner visiting Turkey or a Turkish resident, we hope that you will check out Van Kahvaltı Evi for a great breakfast and great service in English (if required). Details:

Address: Defterdar Yokuşu No: 52.A, Cihangir
Telephone: 212-293-6437

As always, if you know of any establishments that should be commended for their İngilizce Türkiye’de, please let us know.

 

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