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“The real face of eating out in Istanbul”
Review of Hayat Cihangir

Hayat Cihangir
Ranked #4,467 of 13,911 Restaurants in Istanbul
Cuisines: Seafood, Turkish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Beyoglu
Reviewed June 2, 2013

away of beaten tracks, reasonable price, good food, in the heart of the area where real people live, makes you feel you are part of the place

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Thank Costas P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 - 48 of 162 reviews

Reviewed May 2, 2013

We happened upon Hayat after being dashed at other locales in Cihangir (it was a Friday night and we didn't have reservations), and we couldn't have been happier with the results. Space is tight but not claustrophobic, service is good (taking time to explain the dishes to our non-Turkish guests was a plus) and the prices reasonable for an up an coming Istanbul district. We decided to stick with meze dishes to get a good feel for the menu. The grilled calamari was indeed the star of the evening, but the other cold mezes were all good to great, fresh, and very tasty. We definitely would return when we find ourselves in Istanbul again.

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Thank turkmenrogi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We were a group of 30 people and had a perfect evening at Hayat! The food was authentic, fresh and tasty. Especially, the meze were fantastic and also the grilled fish, the wine, etc. The service was very polite, quick and attentive. Thank you so much!

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Thank Naddel_911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

I am glad that i discovered the place.

As a grilled calamari fan, its really hard to find a place to honour the recipe of grilled calamari meal. In Istanbul too many restaurants doesnt bother to literally "grill" the calamari, even it says "grilled calamari" on the menu. By adding Hatay cheese (i think it was Hatay cheese, close to Feta taste) inside the calamari and simply putting it on a real grill, they fulfilled my dreams.

We enjoyed every aspect of our meal. By the way, Aydın Boysan, famous raki-guru of Turkey was there at that night, so you can rely on the standards of the mezes, by simply seeing him on his table, laughing.

Pro's:

Selection of fresh and excellent meze's.
Outstanding hot appetizers: octopus beğendi (octupus with aubergine - its an mediterrenean - ottoman kitchen fusion) and grilled calamari
Fresh fish
Atmosphere of the internal part of the restaurant

Con's:

the balcony can be decorated much better, its not as cosy as it might have been.
at the balcony the light is not sufficient for evening meals
"slightly" overpriced.

I certainly recommend the place, specially for those who search for meze and calamari / octopus taste in Greek Island standards.

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Thank brannant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

After having a dinner in Hayat - I believe that the positive reviews here could easily be false.

I visited restaurant recently & had a dinner with group of local friends.

After eating in dozens of restaurants of all sorts in Istanbul, I can say that Hayat is just below average.

Waiters were not polite & trained for the job. Constantly interrupting us while choosing our drinks & food giving us "time out" hand signals... Serving over our backs.

Food took too long to serve & was served in partitions - we all ordered at the same time but some people were finishing their main course while others still didn't receive it. Every better restaurant would time the preparation of the food in such way that whole group eats at the same time - especially since there were multiple identical orders which were served with 15 minutes difference. After bringing us starters, it took them for sure 20 minutes and at least 4 different complaints to get the bread on our table.

I am used to long dinners in Turkish restaurants but those usually take so long because of pleasant atmosphere & talks among friends. Atmosphere on the table depends a lot on the restaurant & it's staff. I have to say that both ambient & staff do not help you feel nice. Tables are very tightly spaced.

For about 120TL per person that we paid (which translates to more than 50€) I would expect superior service & superior food experience. Maybe that is the average price in this restaurant but then it is as I've said - heavily overpriced. According to the explanation waiter gave us we had to pay for "bread & water" 10% of total bill. I don't know why these things have to be obligatory? As someone who travels around the world I always tip waiters well enough according to their & restaurant's performance...

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8  Thank MiskoPisko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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