Just on the south side of Galata Bridge and around the corner from the Egyptian Bazaar is Hamdi, one of Istanbul’s premier purveyors of deluxe kebabs, almost on a par with the legendary Beyti. The principal reason for the quality is the consistent and expert attention of Mr. Hamdi, who, along with his bristling moustache, keeps a dictatorial eye on all proceedings.
The dishes from south-east Anatolia (the original home of the kebab) include the lovely fistik kebab, made with pistachio nuts, the erikli kebab, with plums, and the testi kebab, a sealed clay pot in which lamb and vegetables simmer to a rare succulence. In summer you’ll sit up on the rooftop terrace with its gorgeous views across the Golden Horn toward the Galata Tower.
The delicious food engenders a passionate and loyal following among discerning carnivores across the city, although long-term patrons have been joined by Istanbul’s tourist hordes (including many tour groups) so curt service in English is sadly now the norm.