One of the most renowned chefs in Turkey, Maksut Aşkar, opened his new restaurant Neolokal inside SALT Galata, a cultural institution which is a branch of SALT Beyoğlu. On the ground floor, you can see Neolokal’s open kitchen where Maksut Aşkar and his team prepare traditional Anatolian dishes by using modern techniques and adding their own perspective.
At Neolokal, as the name indicates, all ingredients are local and seasonal. The team examines Anatolian recipes which are about to vanish and reinterprets them with contemporary twists. Neolokal uses Slow Food Presidia and Ark of Taste products, a sign of respect for Mother Earth as well as local producers and cultural heritages.
The restaurant upstairs has a charming atmosphere with a stylish bar, white tablecloths and a Golden Horn view. We started our dinner with Neolokal’s homemade bread and butter from Trabzon, a city on the Black Sea coast, which was the best I’d eaten in a long time. From the starters, I highly recommend buttered garlic shrimps with sorrel and lemon cream. Umbra served with baby potatoes, lentil, zucchini and flowers is worth to mention as the main course. For dessert, try their linden parfait with lemon cream and acıbadem (bitter almond) crisps. Yummy!
Neolokal also has short and long tasting menus that come with cards explaining the recipe of each dish. Their extensive wine list is composed of local choices only. Despite small portions, delicious food and the beautiful setting make Neolokal remarkable in Istanbul restaurant scene. Reservations required.