Mumbai Restaurant Review: Istanbuli Cafe in Bandra is a Turkish delight

When a friend calls and says I should go over to sample a Turkish experience, even the distance to Bandra East seems far less. It is an open air cafe with a vibrant buzz that even during peak afternoon blazing sun makes you want to sit and sip the Sangrias he has made.

Eric Lobo has conceptualised and designed the cafe. He is someone I trust with the drinks because he introduced me to some fantastic cocktails some 18-19 years ago. Having worked for the best restaurants — Indigo and Olive, Eric finally has followed his heart. He has chosen the entire drinks and food menu and got the chefs to cook up, literally a storm.

Now with his eye for design and spiced Sangrias, for which he has matured the spices…The first was a white wine sangria and second red wine. Do have the pink ginger, a beautifully matured ginger drink, it is non-alcoholic. There also is a Brandy drink, but that is for the more brave alcohol drinkers.

Start with the kebabs which are one of its kind — chicken, mutton and fish. For the vegetarians there is a veg platter that has mushroom kebab, veg sheekh kebabs, paneer and bell peppers. Three dips that are delicious. All the spices are authentic. 

The Istanbuli cafe is outside the Craftbar, restaurant. One can sit inside and order for the same food, but then you will miss the buzz and slight warm air brushing one’s face. In the evenings, this place fills fast as youngsters throng for their evening drink.

Nibbling on the appetisers, one may tend to forget the Turkish food is well crafted and the pizza while it is good, do not forget to eat the Turk Kraliyet Biryani for non vegetarians and the veg biryani. This is a pink coloured absolutely delicious biryani.

Where: Istanbuli Cafe, Hallmark Business Plaza, Sant Dyaneshwar Marg, Near Chetna College, Kalanagar, Bandra East, Mumbai