When it comes to charming eccentricity, Galata House beats every other Istanbul restaurant hands-down. Run by the multi-skilled Nadire and Mete Göktug, architects with a strong sideline in cooking, it occupies an attractively-worn 18th-century building just off Galata Tower that used to the old British prison. There, under a special dispensation from the sultans, the British incarcerated their own errant subjects. In what is certainly the most distinctive interior design scheme among the city’s many restaurants, the Göktugs have wisely preserved those poor souls’ doodled graffiti along with passages of peeling paint from the period. Particularly notable are the naïve but powerful renderings of various wardens along with a selection of their attractively-shaped hats. The simple, homely furniture and decoration combined with the Göktugs’ friendliness soon dispense any thoughts of imprisonment. Mete will sit down and have a chat while Nadire will rustle up the menu’s Georgian, Russian and Tartar delicacies, all from her Crimean homeland. Then, if you’re really lucky, she’ll have a tinkle on the ivories, throwing wild Georgian songs into the mix. A fine selection of Caucasian wine completes the mix.