Cafe Istanbul | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Meanwhile, in another former Soup Sergeant space (5986 Spring Garden), Erkut Surmeli is preparing his newest restaurant, Turkish eatery Cafe Istanbul, to open sometime this month. Surmeli’s no stranger to the restaurant game: he’s the original owner of two of the city’s most popular Turkish joints, Anatolia Turkish Cuisine (1518 Dresden Row) and Turkish Delight (5680 Spring Garden), and still has a share in Efes, a Turkish restaurant that he opened in England 15 years ago. He sold Anatolia and Turkish Delight a couple years back. “It was a bit too much...I was under pressure working the both of them,” shares Surmeli. “I think I learned my lesson now. I’m going to stick to one.” Cafe Istanbul will offer many of the old standbys available at the other two restaurants, like chicken shawarma, but Surmeli also has some new tricks up his sleeve. “We’re going to bake... our own bread,” he says. The restaurant will also feature yummy-sounding Turkish pizza, which is made using “very thin” bread that’s stuffed with minced lamb and other goodies and cooked, then filled with fresh vegetables and rolled. “It’s almost like a fajita, really, but with the meat itself already in it,” says Surmeli. Take heart, meat-shunners---there’s a vegetarian version available, too. Surmeli’s also in the process of renovating the new restaurant space. The biggest change: “It’s going to be completely open-kitchen,” says Surmeli. Turkish pizza and a show? Sign
me up.

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