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“Delicious dolmades”
Review of Pala Ocakbasi

Pala Ocakbasi
Ranked #3,452 of 14,132 Restaurants in Istanbul
Price range: $13 - $40
Cuisines: Turkish
Neighborhood: Beyoglu
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Beyoglu
Reviewed November 15, 2013

We had dinner here, a man on the street leads you up several flights of stairs to a room full of noisy tables with the grill at the far end. I had my reservations going to a kebab restaurant being a vegetarian but I really enjoyed the food here, and the dolmades were the best I've had. The waiter comes around with a big tray of meze dishes for you to choose, we chose a sprout dish which was just very bland, dolmades which were fantastic and a lovely aubergine and tomato dish. We also had some sort of grain dish on the side and a spicy tomato salsa dish which were also great. My partner had a spicy kofte kebab which he said was moist and delicious. I tried the turnip juice here and some raki both of which are a bit of an acquired taste but it was great to have a beer with our meal here. At the end of the meal we were given a huge free plate of fruit. I would recommend eating here both for meat eaters and non meat eaters as the food is great and it has a lively atmosphere.

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2  Thank Thewanderingwinos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 11 of 35 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

This place is exactly what a real ocakbasi needs to be, it will give you all you want and possibly more (brain salad, kidneys and testicles for the adventurous). We could not resist visiting Pala each Friday night despite the alarming danger of over-feeding ourselves; in fact we even looked forward to it! I thought about suggesting one or two dishes, but everything they serve is so great, yeah even the testicles. Make sure to order raki along with your food and taste the salgam (the pickled turnip juice). Ah, if it is winter time, definitely sit by the "ocakbasi" (the grill) and watch the master in action. You will be awed by this thick-moustached intimidating man, whose precision in every move would only compare to that of a yakitori chef.

2  Thank Boduk-San
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

I am the first one to review this place. Indeed this is a unknown (to tourists) pearl that I am going to reveal.

This is a rare place to eat : very good, authentic, friendly and cheap. As a tourist, you are treated exactly like the locals.

It is in Beyoglu (new town) off the popular / touristic food street (like Nevizade Sokak), in a small street parallel to Istiklal Cd (the avenue with the old Tram), half way between Taksim and Tunel.

PALA (kind in a basement at 21 Suslu Saksi Sk) is a friendly, delicious and cheap Meyhane with traditional mezes that you choose out of a tray that the waiters move around, large choice of kebabs … and the traditional Raki that you drink like you would for wine during the meal … add water as it is 3 times stronger !

You can even go there alone. They have a small counter, pretty much like in a Robatayaki in Japan, you seat in front of the food, order it to your choice, they cook it in front of you … and the Raki helping you sympathize with the restaurant personnel and the other customers.

Tell only your best friends ...

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1  Thank Neighbour_Miami_Bch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We lucked out getting a table at this very busy, unassuming restaurant which we tried out with no recommendation. It was full of locals. The food was amazing and it was by far the best meal we had in Istanbul. The meze before the main meal was fresh and packed with flavour. The lamb kebab was freshly cooked on a charcoal fire that is in the main part of the restaurant and it was incredibly delicious. The service was wonderful too -- friendly and welcoming with good English spoken. Best of all it was extremely reasonable. For two of us with 4-5 meze between us, 2 kebab meals and 2 beers each, it came to about £50. Don't miss it!

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4  Thank Merchant-fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We were told about the restaurant by our hotel (Emine Sultan in Sultanahmet), and went on the last night of our 4 day visit to Istanbul. Having done some shopping around Taksim, we sat down for the best kebab meal we've all had (family of 4). It's pretty unprepossesing from the outside, but the restaurant was humming with locals, so it had been worth booking in advance. We didn't go for the metre long kebab, all choosing different things - uniformly tasty, great salads and they gave us some wonderul free fruit at the end. If you're reading this from the UK, just put away the preconceptions you have about late night doner kebabs!

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5  Thank bheald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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