Hg2 : The Hedonist

Traditional Music Clubs

Why simply have a cultural experience when you can have a gastronomic, cultural and entertainment experience all in one at one of traditional Istanbul’s live music venues? rnrnAfter a trip to one of the many bars (meyhanes) that play Turkish folk or its related musical cousin fasil, which combines strains of classical, gypsy and folk, it’s not hard to see why Western-style pop hasn’t come to dominate Turkey’s music culture completely. rnrnKallavi 20, a meyhane, just off Istiklal Caddesi, as are many similar venues, is one of the best places to go to hear fasil. As your meal progresses and increasing amounts of raki are consumed, the fasil band, who are usually Roma playing drum, violin, clarinet and zither, trots out and skilfully starts building up the tempo till the little reserve that the Turks possess is completely swept away, along with the tables, in an orgy of handclapping and jigging about. Reservations recommended.rnrnrnKallavi 20, Kallavi Sokak 20, off Istiklal Caddesi, Galatasaray, BeyoglurnTel: +90 (0)212 251 1010rnOpen: Midday-3pm, 7pm-1am. Closed Sundays.rnrnIal, Büyükparmakkapi Sokak 14, off Istiklal Caddesi, BeyoglurnTel: +90 (0)212 243 4196rnrnJust over the road from the veggie Nature & Peace restaurant, (see Snack) on the easy to annunciate Büyükparmakkapi Sokak off Istiklal, is Ial, where you might like to sample Turkish folk, along with a beer or two. The intimate, low-ceilinged room gets even more intimate when the music hits its stride, with the traditional pipe playing inspiring some raucous dancing. Typically for such places, Ial also serves up some good, simple Turkish dishes.

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