Before finding Optimus, I had all but given up on finding fresh, delicious, authentic Turkish food in Istanbul - I had even started thinking 'how is it possible Turkish food could be better in Australia than in Turkey?!' ;) All of that changed, however, with my first visit to Optimus!
The first thing you notice is the warm and tasteful decor, which is modern yet traditional. The restaurant offers a range of dining options, depending on what you're looking for - there are tables set up outside with an awning, perfect for drinks and a snack on a warm day or evening; indoors you will find a comfortable dining area for a more formal sit down meal; and last but not least, my favourite place - the low lounge and cushion area by the front window where you can enjoy food, drinks and water pipe should you wish, as you watch the world go by! The food is well priced, fresh and plentiful - it may cost a few lira more than other places, but it's not expensive, and you are guaranteed value for money.
The staff go out of their way to make sure you are satisfied, nothing is too much trouble! A special shout out goes to Emre and Mehmet for their wonderful customer service and interaction with guests. Mehmet is hilarious, and if you ask him to teach you a traditional dance I'm sure he would be happy to oblige!
If you want to go there with group later in the evening, Optimus transforms into a really fun party venue! We had a blast one evening with a Swedish group who took control of the music and delighted us with an assortment of 80s Swedish pop! The staff even took it upon themselves to source a guitar for one of the budding musicians in the group, and a great time was had by all :)
So if you're out and about in Istanbul and looking for a truly enjoyable meal, a few drinks and a good night out, do not go past Optimus!!!
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