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Page 1, Cafe Istanbul - Strictly

Cafe Istanbul - Strictly Confidential

3 a la carte courses and a glass of house wine for £19.99

Available until the end of February for dinner.

Here's an excellent reason to rediscover a classic of the Manchester dining scene. You have the full choice of Café Istanbul's a la carte menu plus a glass of wine for just £19.99. How much you save will depend on your choices but you'll typically be getting your dessert and your wine for free.

Café Istanbul on Bridge Street celebrated its thirtieth birthday this year – a solid testament to the quality of the cuisine and service. It's stayed under the same ownership throughout, and you can tell. This is a class act with a quiet confidence about it. The chefs are from Istanbul's top restaurants and some of the front of house team have been there for over 15 years. It knows what it's doing and it does it well.

When it opened in 1980, Turkish food wasn't half as common in the UK as it is now. On our Mixed Starter Platter were dishes including Tabule (cracked wheat salad), humus, Tarama (smoked fish roe paté), and Etli Dolma (lamb-stuffed vine leaves). Much of this is now ubiquitous on deli counters but you will struggle to find versions that taste as good as this. Authentic and home-made, this knocked the socks off other Mezze plates we've tried.

Other outstanding starters were the Istanbul Prawns – served in their shells, fresh not frozen, and draped becomingly over a Martini glass with ribbons of cucumber, pepper and carrot. The Devilled Chicken Liver in Worcester Sauce was a intense shot of flavour – you'd never expect mild-mannered poultry to taste so fierce. And the Stuffed Aubergine showed off its simple Mediterranean flavours to excellent effect.

For a main we had the Slow Baked Tomato and Herb Lamb – pink, perfectly cooked meat barely clinging to the bone, served on a mound of buttery mash with soft, juicy chunks of carrot and courgette.

Meanwhile, the Stuffed Chicken Fillet was flavoured with a blend of cumin, courgette, carrot and a Turkish herb that the chef called 'űrűm'. It came with spring vegetables – baby sweetcorn, mangetout, carrots, more dreamy mash and a mushroom sauce.

Both these dishes were delightful. Soaked in juices, well balanced and satisfying with some very interesting tastes in there.

We finished with home-made Baklava – another Turkish classic that Café Istanbul prepares to perfection. Try it to see how this sweet delicacy ought to taste...you'll be smitten.

Desserts aside, the Café Istanbul is apparently popular with slimming groups because their meat is grilled rather than pan-fried and vegetables play a major role.

Whether you're calorie watching or not, you should make the most of this deal at this notable Manchester restaurant. It'll only last for the month of February and popular nights will sell out fast


Click here now to check availability and book.

Cold Starters

Humus (v)
Puréed chickpeas with sesame seed paste, olive oil, lemon juice and a hint of garlic.

Smoked Fish Roe Paté (Tarama)
Home-made smoked cod roe paté with olive oil and lemon juice

Spinach with Yoghurt (Ispanak Tarator) (v)
Spinach and onion sautéed in olive oil, mixed with plain yoghurt anda hint of garlic.

Stuffed Aubergine (Imam Bayildi) (v)
The famous Turkish dish of baked aubergine stuffed with sautéed greenpepper, onion, tomato and garlic.

Stuffed Vine Leaves (Yaprak Sarmasi) (v)
Vine leaves stuffed with rice, pine kernels, currants, onion juice, olive oiland chopped dill and parsley.

Chicken with Walnut Sauce (Cerkez Tavuk)
Shredded chicken breast in a creamy ground walnut sauce, with a hint of garlic.

Cracked Wheat Salad (Tabule) (v)
Home-made smoked cod roe paté with olive oil and lemon juice

Aubergine Salad (Patlican Salatasi) (v)
Home-made smoked cod roe paté with olive oil and lemon juice

Hot Starters

Home-made Soup of the Day (Corba)
Home-made smoked cod roe paté with olive oil and lemon juice

Fish Cakes with a Creamy Mango Sauce (Balik Kofte)
Home-made fish cakes seasoned with chives and coriander accompaniedby a creamy mango and white wine sauce

Lamb and Cracked Wheat “Eggs” (Kubbe)
Prime minced lamb and cracked wheat formed into an egg shape andstuffed with onion, walnuts, currants and herbs.

Devilled Chicken Livers (Tavuk Cigeri)
Delicate chicken livers sautéed in worcestershire sauce and spices,served with redcurrant jelly

Potato Croquettes (Patates Kofte)
Turkish style potato croquettes with added lamb, onion, cheese and coriander

Humus and Lamb (Humus Kavurma)
Strips of lamb sautéed with pine kernels and a mild tomato sauce,served on a bed of humus.

Istanbul Prawns (Karides Gyvec)
Succulent prawns, oven baked in our special recipe tomato, green pepperand onion sauce, with a hint of garlic, topped with gruyere cheese.

Minced Lamb Balls (Mitre Kofte)
Lean minced lamb mixed with onion, spices and herbs, oven baked in atangy tomato and herb sauce.

Feta Cheese Triangles (Muska Borek) (v)
Feta cheese with egg, spinach and herbs, wrapped in filo pastry and fried.

Filo Vegetable Rolls (Sebzeli Borek) (v)
Filo pastry rolls filled with vegetables and cream sauce, freshly fried.

Chickpea & Cracked Wheat Balls (Falafel) (v)
Chickpeas, cracked wheat, fresh coriander and spices, shaped into ballsand fried. Served with plain yoghurt dip.

Lamb Stuffed Vine Leaves (Etli Dolma)
A traditional Ottoman dish of vine leaves stuffed wtih minced lamb, rice and herbs. Served with cool yoghurt.

Stuffed Mushrooms (Mantar)
Mushrooms stuffed with our mouth-watering mixture of puréed chicken breast,cream, garlic and spices, shallow fried.

Spicy Turkish Sausage (Sucuk)
Spicy Turkish sausage, chargrilled and served with salad garnish.

Fried Goats Cheese (Hellim) (v)
Slices of fried goats cheese served with salad garnish and our home-made herb dressing.

Spicy Chicken Wings (Tavuk Kanadi)
Chicken wings oven baked in our secret recipe onion, fresh chilli and five spice sauce.

Squid Rings (Kalamar)
Fried battered rings of squid, served with a tartare sauce.

Special Mixed Starter Platter (Karisik Meze)
A delicious and substantial selection of hot and cold starters

Lamb

Spit Roasted Lamb (Doner Kebab)
Thin slices of spit roasted lamb, lightly spiced to our own tasty recipe. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Lamb Stuffed Vine Leaves (Etli Dolma)
A traditional Ottoman dish of vine leaves stuffed wtih minced lamb, rice and herbs with red wine. Served with cool yoghurt and salad.

Chargrilled Skewered Lamb (Sis Kebab)
Succulent cubes of best leg of lamb, marinated in herbs and chargrilled. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Chargrilled Lamb Fillets (Kulbasti)
Thin slices of lean fillets of lamb, marinated and chargrilled with oregano. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Special Lamb Cutlets (Pirzola)
French trimmed lamb cutlets marinated and chargrilled with thyme. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Slow Baked Tomato & Herb Lamb (Incik)
Tender lamb on the bone, oven baked, with new potatoes in a fresh tomato and herb sauce.

Slow Baked Apricot Lamb (Tandir)
Tender lamb off the bone, oven baked, with an apricot sauce. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Lamb Casserole (Et Sote)
Lean cubes of lamb, slowly casseroled with vegetables in a rich tomato, herb and red wine sauce. Served with Istanbul rice.

Istanbul Lamb (Kofte)
Lean and tender minced lamb, slightly spiced, mixed with herbs and chargrilled. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Slow-cooked Paprika Lamb (Yahni)
Cubed leg of lamb, slowly cooked in a paprika, red wine and onion sauce - incredibly tender. Served with Istanbul rice.

Chicken

Istanbul Chicken (Pilic)
Tender slices of chicken breast, marinated in herbs and chargrilled. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Chicken Skewers (Pilic Sis)
Marinated cubes of chicken breast, skewered with onion and peppers and chargrilled. Served with Istanbul rice and seasonal vegetables.

Chicken Casserole (Tavuk Sote)
Cubes of chicken breast slowly casseroled with vegetables in tomato and wine sauce. Served with Istanbul rice.

Spinach & Feta Chicken (Ispanakli Tavuk)
Oven cooked chicken breast stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Served with Istanbul rice, orange sauce and seasonal vegetables.

Stuffed Chicken Fillet (Tavuk Dolma)
Rolled chicken fillet, filled with minced chicken, vegetables, raisins and herbs, oven baked. Served with creamy mushroom sauce and mashed potato.

Mixed Chargrills

Mixed Chargrill (Karisik)
A chargrilled combination of special lamb cutlet, lamb fillet, Istanbul lamb, spit roasted lamb and Istanbul chicken. Served with Istanbul rice, and seasonal vegetables.

Mixed Chargrill with Tomato & Yoghurt (Iskender)
A chargrilled combination of lamb fillet, spit roasted lamb and Istanbul chicken. Served on pita bread with a fresh tomato sauce and cool yoghurt.

Mixed Chargrill Feast (Lux Karisik) (Min 2 persons)
A silver platter feast of special lamb cutlet, skewered lamb, Istanbul lamb, spit roasted lamb and Istanbul chicken. Served with Istanbul rice, and seasonal vegetables.

Vegetarian

Moussaka (v)
Our ever popular oven-baked dish of layered aubergine, courgette, potato, mushrooms, peppers and tomato, topped with bechamel sauce and cheese. Served with a mixed salad.

Stuffed Aubergine (Imam Bayildi) (v)
The famous Turkish dish of baked aubergine, stuffed with sautéed green pepper, onion, tomato and garlic. Served with Istanbul rice and mixed salad.

10 Vegetable Casserole (Turlu) (v)
Fresh market vegetable casserole, with courgettes, green peppers, red peppers, celery, aubergines, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celeriac and potatoes in a herb, garlic & mildly spiced vegetable sauce.

Seafood

Salmon with Raki (Raki Soslu Salmon)
Salmon fillet, pan fried with butter, cherry tomatoes, dill and Raki. Served with seasonal vegetables.

Istanbul Swordfish (Kilic)
Cubes of marinated swordfish skewered with onions, green peppers and chargrilled. Served with Istanbul rice or sautéed new potatoes, and seasonal vegetables.

Chargrilled Halibut Steak (Kalkan)
Prime halibut steak, marinated and chargrilled. Served with Istanbul rice or sautéed new potatoes, and seasonal vegetables.

Sea Bass Fillet (Levrek)
Chargrilled marinated fresh sea bass with pink peppercorns & dill. Served with Istanbul rice or sautéed new potatoes,and seasonal vegetables.

Special King Prawns (Karides)
A generous portion of large king prawns, chargrilled with garlic butter. Served with Istanbul rice or sautéed new potatoes, and seasonal vegetables.

Pan Fried King Prawns (Tava da Karides)
Large king prawns sautéed with dill and garlic butter, with a hint of chilli. Served with seasonal vegetables.

Chargrilled Seafood Feast (Balik) (Min 2 persons)
A silver platter feast of Istanbul swordfish, halibut steak and special king prawns. Served with Istanbul rice or sautéed new potatoes, and seasonal vegetables.

Main Salads

Feta Cheese Salad (Peynirli Salata) (v)
Diced feta cheese served on mixed salad and drizzled with our home-made herb dressing.

Goats Cheese Salad (Keci Peyniri) (v)
Grilled goats cheese with our mixed salad and pesto sauce.

Hot Chicken Salad (Tavuk Salata)
Sliced chicken breast, marinated and chargrilled, served on lettuce leaves, with shaved Parmesan, croutons and Istanbul dressing.

Prawn Salad (Karidas Salata)
Large king prawns, chargrilled with garlic butter and served with our mixed salad.

Side Dishes

Istanbul Salad (Coban Salata)
A healthy combination of green peppers, tomatoes, cucumber,onions & parsley, drizzled with our home-made herb dressing.

Mixed Salad (Karisik Salata)
Lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots and cucumber.

Tomato & Onion Salad
Sliced tomatoes and finely chopped mild onion, drizzled with our home-made herb dressing.

Sautéed Potatoes

Mashed Potato

Istanbul Rice

Seasonal Vegetables

Yoghurt with Cucumber & Garlic

Olives & Chillies

Pita Bread

Garlic Pita Bread

Desserts

Selection of Ice Creams & Sorbets

Desserts of the Day (please ask for selection)

All desserts are generously topped with fresh cream (optional!)


Click here now to check availability and book.


Baklava


Slow baked Tomato & herb Lamb


Stuffed Auergine


Stuffed chicken fillet


Special mixed starter platter


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