Found within the concrete, glass and metal surrounds of the Armani Maçka Residences, Alancha restaurant feels richly warm and welcoming, a wonderland of earth tones and plenty of light. That’s thanks in large part to the interior design Cacti Architecture, responsible for the chic terracotta-coloured chairs, the walls of greenery, the allure of soft wooden tabletops. But it’s also because Alancha itself is a riotous celebration of Anatolian cuisine. And it’s glorious.
The menu here is never set – it shifts and changes. What else would you expect from a restaurant with its own test kitchen on-site? Alancha is rightly known for its creativity. It plays with flavours, it explores and experiments with traditional ideas and cutting-edge techniques. Dishes might be inspired by local ingredients, by thousand-year-old recipes, by what’s in season. And the result is, in a word, delicious.
There might be something familiar, like baklava, on the menu, alongside others like “Head of Lamb – Street Style” (head of lamb galantine with pita bread, flower salad and sumac vinaigrette) or “Tomato Salad on a Summer Holiday” (ancestor seeds of field tomatoes, with herbs and Ali Naki Tez goat cheese). Hummus with crispy sourdough and herb salad, served with camel sausages. “Bodrum Peninsula Herbs & Vegetable (fresh sea beans, rock sea fennel, cibes, and artichokes). Or “Seafood without Gills” (Greek-style whole octopus with Iskenderun shrimps and pub-style calamari).
The cocktail list is a similar revelation – and a conscious one, with the assertion that there will be mixes you’ve “never tasted before”. Enter drinks like G’s Fizz with ginger liqueur with gin, tahini, molasses, and sour mix, and the Ada, a concoction of sage-infused vodka, orange liqueur, tea fennel, linden, and thyme. So it’s best to come here with a good appetite – for substance, and for innovation.