My friend and I were on vacation traveling to Istanbul for pleasure and after a week of eating some wonderful Turkish food decided that we were interested in tasting something different. Walking around the Taksim area we stumbled upon CokCok, which turned out to be a Turkish gem. Having spent much time traveling around Thailand and other parts of Asia, I can honestly say this meal is on par with any Thai cuisine I have ever had.
The restaurant is quaint and comfortable yet the design is modern and fresh. Upon arrival, the restaurant was quite full and there was no outdoor seating available, but the staff provided us a spot inside and even allowed us to transfer outdoors half way through our meal once an open table became available. Given that our Turkish was minimal, we had no problems as the various staff speak a variety of languages including English.
We started our meal with some of the house specialty cocktails (a nice treat given many restaurants have limited alcohol available), which a used ingredients such as fresh lemongrass and basil. Following our drinks we shared the house spring rolls and a bowl of the coconut chicken soup. Both were delicious and the soup had just enough spice to make you recognize the flavors of Thai cooking immediately. Our main course consisted of Phad Thai and a entree salad called Som Tam . While Phad Thai is a staple and this is the one of the best I have ever had, it was my first time trying Som Tam. It was explained to us that this dish traditionally uses green papaya, but given the seasonal nature of the fruit a green apple was substituted. It was out of this world and the combination of sweet and spicy was perfect.
In addition to amazing service and unbelievable food, it is rare I eat an an affordable restaurant that can fit multiple moods. During our time there we witnessed parties as large as 7 having a family style meal and couples enjoying a romantic dinner for two. All seemed to be in their own space and the restaurant catered to each accordingly.
Overall, this restaurant is one not to be missed whether you have 1 day for a visit to Istanbul or have lived there for 15 years.
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